Having avoided their club-record 14th straight road loss, the Baltimore Orioles seek their second two-game road winning streak when Baltimore's Dylan Bundy faces Rick Porcello and the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night at Fenway Park.
The Orioles improved to 4-17 away from home with a 7-4 victory Friday that evened the four-game series, beating the Red Sox for the first time in five tries this season.
It left the Orioles only tying their club road futility record and was also Baltimore's first road victory not earned in Yankee Stadium. It also gave Alex Cobb his first win with his new team.
"I know the win is overrated and it's kind of not looked that way anymore, but when you see a goose egg next to your name in the win column, it just kind of turns your stomach the wrong way," Cobb said. "It's ugly. Baseball is a crazy game and you could have won some of those games, but I believe that when you have the ball in your hand, you have the ability to win a ballgame.
"I love the win. I love that column next to your name when you feel like you really show that you put your team in a position to win multiple nights."
Now, Bundy, coming off his best start of the season, faces Porcello (5-1, 3.28 ERA), who is coming off two shaky starts that have seen him allow 10 runs and 17 hits in 11 1/3 innings.
Bundy (2-5, 4.53), who lived through the nightmare of not retiring a batter and giving up four home runs to the Kansas City Royals on May 8, went seven shutout innings, allowing two hits, walking four and striking out seven Tampa Bay Rays in a 17-1 Orioles rout last week.
The right-hander is 3-5 with a 4.66 ERA in 13 career games (nine starts) against the Red Sox, but is a much-better 2-2 with a 3.18 ERA in seven games (four starts) at Fenway.
Bundy was the loser against Boston at Fenway Park last month, yielding three runs (one earned) and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Porcello opened the season on a roll reminiscent of his Cy Young Award season in 2016. He was 5-0 before running into trouble his past two times out. And now he faces a team that has handled him well in the past.
The righty was 0-3 with a 4.86 ERA in three starts against Baltimore last season and is an unhealthy 4-11 with a 4.88 ERA in 18 career starts against the Birds.
The Red Sox are 13-13 since opening the season with 17 wins in 19 games. The New York Yankees also lost Friday, leaving the rivals tied atop the American League East.
Drew Pomeranz had his second straight tough outing Friday night, falling to 1-2 with a 5.97 ERA after starting the season on the disabled list. He has worked four innings in each of the last two starts, allowing 12 hits and eight runs (seven earned) and walking eight.
"I feel good. I feel great. I have no issues there," he said. "I'm just waiting for stuff to click. The ball does not feel great coming out of my hand right now.
"I've been putting in a lot of work trying to clean up things and just kind of waiting for things to click for me. Similar to the same stuff I went through last year. It just gets extremely frustrating."
Manny Machado is 12-for-36 with two homers and five RBIs lifetime against Porcello, while Jonathan Schoop is 7-for-20, Mark Trumbo 10-for-34 with four homers and Chris Davis has four homers despite a .227 batting average. Adam Jones is hitting .204 versus Porcello but has three home runs and nine RBIs.
Brock Holt is 6-for-11, while Christian Vazquez is 5-for-15, Xander Bogaerts 7-for-22 with a home run, Jackie Bradley Jr. 6-for-20 and Sandy Leon 3-for-10 against Bundy. But Mitch Moreland is 3-for-18 and Hanley Ramirez 4-for-21 versus Bundy.
The Orioles continue to progress toward their full bullpen. Closer Zach Britain, out with a torn Achilles, increased his pitch count from 15 to 30 in simulated conditions Friday at Fenway, while Darren O'Day (elbow) threw in the bullpen. Clearly, O'Day is closer but will not be activated Saturday after being eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list Wednesday.
The Orioles have homered in 11 straight games, their longest streak since 13 straight July 17-30 of last year. The Red Sox have homered in 10 straight, the club's longest streak since 2016 (12 games from Sept. 15-27). They have homered in 17 of their last 18 games, hitting 32 over that span.