O's hope Bedard can play stopper

O's hope Bedard can play stopper

If nothing else, the Orioles can be thrilled to see a change of opponent. Seattle left town after crushing Baltimore's pitching for three straight days, and now the O's will have to deal with one of the best teams in the league. The Red Sox, who have beaten Baltimore six times in eight games this season, will start a three-game series at Camden Yards on Friday.

The Orioles will put their best arm forward in the series opener, pitting Erik Bedard against Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka. Bedard, the American League's Pitcher of the Month for July, has won eight straight decisions and hasn't lost since June 10. Matsuzaka, meanwhile, has shored up his candidacy as a front-runner for the Rookie of the Year Award.

Baltimore's last three losses represent the first sweep under manager Dave Trembley and the first three-game skid since mid-June. The Orioles have lost all three series against Boston in 2007 and have dropped the season set seven times in the last eight years. Still, Baltimore is 23-21 overall and 10-5 against AL East opponents since Trembley took the reins.

Pitching matchup
BAL: LHP Erik Bedard (12-4, 3.09 ERA)
Bedard is 4-3 with a 2.15 ERA at home and 8-3 with a 2.92 mark in night games.

BOS: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (13-8, 3.70 ERA)
Matsuzaka has pitched six innings or more in 10 of his last 12 starts.

Player to watch:
Miguel Tejada hit a grand slam Thursday -- his 10th home run of the season and 10th grand slam of his career.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• MASN

On radio
• WHFS 105.7

Up next
• Saturday: Orioles (Garrett Olson, 1-0, 3.86) vs. Red Sox (Josh Beckett, 14-5, 3.31), 3:55 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Orioles (Steve Trachsel, 5-7, 4.88) vs. Red Sox (Curt Schilling, 6-5, 4.31), 1:35 p.m. ET
• Monday: Orioles (Jeremy Guthrie, 7-4, 3.22) at Yankees (Roger Clemens, 4-5, 4.00), 7:05 p.m. ET

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.