Orioles on deck: What to watch Wednesday at Red Sox

Orioles (79-65) vs. Red Sox (81-63)

Where: Fenway Park


First pitch: 7:10 p.m.

TV/Radio: MASN2, ESPN/105.7 The Fan


Starting pitchers: Orioles RHP Kevin Gausman (7-10, 3.61 ERA) vs. Red Sox RHP Rick Porcello (20-3, 3.21 ERA)

What to watch

1. Chance for one: The Orioles head into tonight's rubber match with an opportunity to leave Boston withing one game of first place in the American League East. Thanks to the Toronto Blue Jays' loss Wednesday afternoon, the Orioles will be alone in second place in the division and atop the wild-card standings if they can beat the Red Sox. They also could potentially have some playoff padding, entering the night two games ahead of the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees in the wild-card race.

2. Heckuva matchup: Kevin Gausman starts tonight against Red Sox right-hander Rick Porcello in the best pitching matchup of the series. Gausman has a 1.08 ERA over his past four starts, and a 2.40 ERA over his past eight outings. Porcello, the only 20-game winner in the major leagues so far, is 13-1 with a 2.67 ERA over his past 17 starts, dating to June 12.

3. Flash for a reason: Steve Pearce is out with an elbow injury and Hyun Soo Kim is not in the lineup against a right-hander, even with Michael Bourn in right. Here's why: Ryan Flaherty has owned Porcello in his career. The Orioles utility man is playing left and batting ninth tonight, likely because he's 6-for-11 with a home run, two RBIs and a .545/.583/.818 career batting line against Porcello. Flaherty might be a bit rusty, however, as he has just one start and 14 at-bats since July 24.

Orioles lineup

CF Adam Jones
RF Michael Bourn
3B Manny Machado
1B Chris Davis
DH Mark Trumbo
2B Jonathan Schoop
C Matt Wieters
SS J.J. Hardy
LF Ryan Flaherty

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