The Orioles are hoping that youth trumps experience in Friday's opener of their three-game set at Fenway Park against the Red Sox.
Rookie left-hander Adam Loewen is giving away 21 years and 444 Major League starts to veteran Boston southpaw David Wells, but the Orioles hurler is coming off the best start of his career. He earned his second win of the season when he allowed just one hit and recorded a career-best eight strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings against the American League East-leading Yankees on Saturday.
After shutting down one of the AL East's titans, Loewen will now try to do the same against the second-place Red Sox. It will be Loewen's first career start against Boston, and the left-hander is hoping it goes better than his other outings against division rivals. In spite of his last start against New York, Loewen still has a 6.15 ERA in five appearances against AL East clubs this season.
The Orioles as a team have fared little better against the AL East. They are 11 games under .500 (18-29) against their division rivals this season, and only five teams in the Majors have fewer divisional wins.
In Wells, Baltimore faces a pitcher who has endured an injury-plagued 2006. The left-hander has made just four starts this season due to a litany of maladies to his right knee, and he has made three separate trips to the disabled list. Wells, who played for Baltimore in 1996, has had success against his former club. In 44 career appearances against the O's, Wells is 16-12 with a 3.98 ERA.
BAL: LHP Adam Loewen (2-3, 5.72 ERA)
Loewen was three years old when Wells made his Major League debut on June 30, 1987.
BOS: LHP David Wells (0-2, 8.05 ERA)
Opponents are hitting .365 against Wells this season.
Player to watch
Shortstop Miguel Tejada is hitting .341 (15-for-44) with five home runs and 10 RBIs against Wells in his career. Tejada's five career homers against Wells tie his highest total against an opposing pitcher -- he also has five homers against Esteban Loaiza of the Oakland Athletics.
On the Internet
Official game notes
Saturday: Orioles (RHP Kris Benson, 9-9, 4.71) at Red Sox (RHP Jason Johnson, 3-11, 5.96), 1:20 p.m. ET
Sunday: Orioles (RHP Daniel Cabrera, 5-7, 4.95) at Red Sox (LHP Jon Lester, 5-1, 3.86), 2:05 p.m. ET
Tuesday: Orioles (LHP Erik Bedard, 12-8, 3.91) at Yankees (RHP Mike Mussina, 13-4, 3.46), 7:05 p.m. ET
Mark Polishuk is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.