Sunday's Red Sox-Orioles matchups: Jon Lester vs. Jason Hammel

July 28, 2013 - 5:19 am

The Red Sox will send Jon Lester to the mound Sunday to take on Jason Hammel of the Orioles at Camden Yards. Lester (9-6, 4.50 ERA) was better in his last start than he had been as of late, only allowing two earned runs on seven hits while striking out eight in a win over the Rays. Lester'€™s eight strikeouts in the game tied a season high '€” something he achieved two other times this year. It was a nice change for Lester, who got a few extra days of rest after the All-Star break. '€œJust the way Jonny came out of the bullpen tonight, he was strong,'€ said manager John Farrell. '€œIt seems like the added rest did him some good. A lot of strikes. Power to his fastball for the full six-plus innings of work tonight.'€ That type of performance, though, is not something Lester has delivered consistently this season, as he had allowed three or more runs in 10 out of his last 11 starts. Lester had a 6.27 ERA with a .307 opponents' batting average during that span. Lester has dominated the Orioles throughout his career, keeping a 14-2 record with a 2.86 ERA in 22 starts against Baltimore. However, he has had a lot of trouble with Matt Wieters, who has a .378 batting average against Lester with four extra-base hits. Hammel (7-7, 5.20 ERA) has had a poor July so far, and has allowed 35 hits in four starts this month. Hammel started the season well, going 7-2 in his first 11 starts. However, the right-hander is 0-5 in his last nine starts with a 5.47 ERA during that span. Last time out was a little bit better for Hammel, who only allowed three runs on 10 hits through six innings pitched. However, he did not get much in terms of run support and earned his seventh loss of the season. Hammel'€™s control was not good in the game, as he allowed four walks for the first time this season. The heart of the Red Sox order has crushed Hammel in the past, as David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia each have homers and batting averages in excess of .400 against him. The Red Sox also have the advantage of facing him at Camden Yards, where Hammel is 1-4 on the season with a 6.65 ERA. Red Sox vs. Hammel (RHP) Stephen Drew (19 plate appearances): .176 BA/.263 OBP/.235 SLG, 1 double, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts David Ortiz (16): .429/.500/.643, 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts Shane Victorino (15): .455/.600/.545, 1 double, 1 RBI, 4 walks, 1 strikeout Dustin Pedroia (12): .444/.500/.889, 1 home run, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts Jonny Gomes (6): .400/.500/.400, 1 RBI, 1 walk Jarrod Saltalamacchia (6): .400/.500/.400, 1 walk, 1 strikeout Daniel Nava (5): .200/.200/.200, 2 strikeouts Jacoby Ellsbury (4): .667/.750/.667, 1 walk Mike Napoli (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout Mike Carp, Jose Iglesias, Ryan Lavarnway and Brandon Snyder have not faced Hammel. Orioles vs. Lester (LHP) Nick Markakis (61 plate appearances): .224 BA/.262 OBP/.328 SLG, 6 doubles, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 14 strikeouts Adam Jones (52): .267/.365/.333, 3 doubles, 5 RBIs, 7 walks, 18 strikeouts Brian Roberts (43): .237/.326/.474, 1 home run, 6 doubles, 1 RBI, 5 walks, 9 strikeouts Matt Wieters (39): .378/.410/.514, 1 triple, 3 doubles, 7 RBIs, 2 walks, 10 strikeouts J.J. Hardy (19): .333/.368/.667, 1 home run, 1 triple, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts Chris Davis (17): .125/.176/.375, 1 home run, 1 double, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts Alexi Casilla (10): .000/.200/.000, 2 walks Manny Machado (6): .333/.333/.500, 1 double, 1 RBI Nate McLouth (4): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeouts Taylor Teagarden (4): .000/.000/.000, 4 strikeouts Ryan Flaherty and Henry Urrutia have not faced Lester.

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