Orioles welcome nemesis Red Sox

Orioles welcome nemesis Red Sox

BALTIMORE -- One more time. The Orioles will welcome the Red Sox, the team that has given them the hardest time this season, for one final series at Camden Yards this weekend. Baltimore and Boston will open the set on Friday night, and the Orioles will be attempting to stave off their worst record against the Red Sox since 1987.

Amazingly, the Orioles are just 5-28 against the Red Sox over the past two seasons. Baltimore is 2-13 against Boston this year and went 3-15 in 2008, which was the team's worst mark since a 1-12 record in '87. For perspective, the Orioles have won at least five games against the Red Sox in 12 of the previous 13 seasons.

And if Baltimore is going to turn things around against Boston, it won't come easy. The Red Sox are throwing Clay Buchholz -- who threw a no-hitter against the Orioles in 2007 -- in the series opener. Boston will also throw southpaw ace Jon Lester in the middle game and Daisuke Matsuzaka in the series finale.

The Orioles, by contrast, will counter with Jeremy Guthrie and rookies David Hernandez and Jason Berken. All three of those pitchers have had their share of adversity against Boston over the years. The Orioles have a 36-39 record at Camden Yards this season, and they'll have six more home games to try to even things out.

Baltimore will hit the road for a three-city trip after the Boston series, and then it will have just one more home set -- against the Blue Jays -- before the 2009 season concludes. The Orioles have gone 20-38 since the All-Star break, but they're 12-14 in their last 26 games, most of which have come against teams with winning records.

Pitching matchup
BAL: RHP Jeremy Guthrie (10-14, 5.06 ERA)
Guthrie has won three of his past five decisions and has allowed just one home run in his previous four outings. The right-hander has gone five consecutive outings without allowing more than three earned runs. He also leads the league in home runs allowed (30) and has given up more earned runs (98) than all but one other pitcher.

BOS: RHP Clay Buchholz (5-3, 3.66 ERA)
Buchholz worked seven sparkling innings of one-run ball Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park in a no-decision against the Rays. Unbeaten in his past six outings (4-0), the 25-year-old right-hander has posted a career-high four consecutive quality starts. He is 1-0 with a 5.73 ERA in two appearances against the Orioles this season.

Bird bites
The Orioles have managed just nine hits in their past two games, but they won one and lost one. ... Baltimore has played 10 four-games series this season, splitting six of them and losing four of them. In the four contests in which the Orioles had a chance to win a four-game series, they're 0-4. ... Baltimore is 19-28 in series openers and 16-31 in series finales this season. ... The Orioles are 39-31 when they score first and 21-55 when their opponent draws first blood. Baltimore is also 54-34 when it scores four runs or more and 6-52 when it doesn't. ... The Orioles have been shut out twice in September and three times in the second half.

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On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

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On radio
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Up next
• Saturday: Orioles (David Hernandez, 4-8, 5.40) vs. Red Sox (Jon Lester, 13-7, 3.29), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Orioles (Jason Berken, 5-11, 6.08) vs. Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka, 2-5, 7.02), 1:35 p.m. ET
• Monday: Orioles (Chris Tillman, 2-3, 4.50) at Blue Jays (David Purcey, 0-2, 6.32), 7:07 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.