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BALTIMORE — The Boston Red Sox will try to complete a three-game sweep of the slumping Baltimore Orioles when the two teams meet for a Wednesday matinee at Oriole Park.
Boston (46-22) won the first two games of this series Junior Seau Jersey , including Tuesday’s 6-4 victory. Chris Sale (5-4, 2.83 ERA) will pitch for Boston on Wednesday against Yefry Ramirez, who will make his major-league debut.
Sale has lost his last three starts. He pitched well against the White Sox on Friday in his last start, allowing one run on six hits in eight innings — with 10 strikeouts — but still took the loss as Chicago scored a 1-0 victory.
He has pitched effectively against the Orioles in his career, going 5-2 with a 2.79 ERA in 15 games, including nine starts, and will try to give the Red Sox their ninth win in 10 games versus Baltimore this season.
The Orioles are struggling on offense right now, a big reason the team has lost six in a row and 13 of their last 15 games.
Ramirez will be called up from Triple-A Norfolk as the Orioles placed Andrew Cashner on the disabled list Tuesday due to a lower back strain. They also brought up relief pitcher Donnie Hart from Norfolk.
Cashner had been scheduled to start Wednesday’s game but Ramirez instead will get his first chance to pitch in the majors.
The Red Sox also will have Mookie Betts in the lineup. Betts had been out since May 26 with a left abdominal strain before being surprisingly activated before Monday’s 2-0 victory.
He went 1-for-5 and manager Alex Cora took him out after the top of the 11th inning so Betts would not be pushed too much on his first day back.
Betts did not play in Tuesday’s win, but he and Cora said it was more just to ease him back in slowly.
“He was going to play two out of three anyway Vinny Curry Jersey ,” Cora said before Tuesday’s game. “Yesterday we extended him a little bit. He’ll start tomorrow.”
Betts also leads the major league All-Star Game voting as the Red Sox likely will have a few players on the American League team.
The Orioles’ best chance for that game will be Manny Machado, who returned to the Baltimore lineup Tuesday after missing a game due to an illness.
Baltimore ran into the same problems Tuesday that have plagued its lineup all season – an inability to score without homers and not being able to get the big hit at the right time.
The Orioles went just 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position and stranded 13 baserunners overall. There were just too many missed chances once again.
Baltimore has just a .227 team batting average after the Tuesday loss — and it won’t get any easier in the series finale with Sale starting and the solid bullpen waiting behind him.
“You’ve got a guy like Sale starting tomorrow,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter told the media afterward. “They feel pretty confident about their bullpen. They’ve got eight of them down there.”
MIAMI — The Carolina Hurricanes officially were eliminated from playoff contention on Saturday. The Florida Panthers are still alive, but they have taken several body blows of late.
On Monday night, the Panthers (39-30- will host the Hurricanes (35-33-11) at the BB&T Center. The game means virtually nothing in the standings for Carolina, but it will be crucially important for the Panthers.
This will be the first Panthers home game since returning from a disastrous 1-2-1 road trip in which the last three games ended in defeat, one of them in overtime. A slow start this season — the Panthers ranked 28th in the league in points as of Jan. 30 — has left Florida with little margin for error as it tries to chase down the final wild-card playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
Florida is seven points behind New Jersey (42-28-9) for the final wild-card spot.
“Two points are what matter the most for us in the race we’re in,” Panthers coach Bob Boughner told the media. “We’ve had too many lapses in our game. Our starts haven’t been good. The No. 1 thing is we have to commit to have more maturity in our game. We have to manage the game better.”
Meanwhile, the Hurricanes are likely just now coming to grips with the fact that they have missed the playoffs for the ninth straight year K.J. Wright Jersey , the longest such active streak in the NHL.
The Hurricanes entered this season with much hope. Scott Darling was brought in from the Chicago Blackhawks to be their No. 1 goalie, but he has been outplayed by veteran mainstay Cam Ward, who will be a free agent after this season.
Similarly, winger Justin Williams, 36, was brought in from the Washington Capitals, where he had 24 goals last season. Unfortunately for the Hurricanes, he has not been a difference-maker, scoring just 15 goals Kwon Alexander Jersey , perhaps showing his age.
As Carolina’s ends the fourth season with general manager Ron Francis and coach Bill Peters in charge, the Hurricanes are left to try to play spoilers while ownership ponders the future direction of their management team.
“It’s been a grind for quite a while here,” Peters told the media following playoff elimination. “We had more expectations — higher and realistic expectations.”
On the other side on Monday night will be the Panthers, who a couple of weeks ago were listed as having a 75-percent playoff probability. Now they are down to just 14 percent per hockeyreference.com.
The Panthers have just five games left, and they pretty much have to win them all. The good news for Florida is that four of them are at home. But the bad news is that three of them are against league heavyweights — the Nashville Predators and home and home against the Boston Bruins.
Florida will rely heavily on its two All-Star centers, Alexsander Barkov, who has 26 goals and leads the team with 75 points; and Vincent Trocheck, who leads the team with 30 goals and has 71 points. Barkov was an All-Star this year. Trocheck made the team last year but is having another great season.
Two other Panthers forwards have impressive scoring totals: Jonathan Huberdeau has 25 goals and 67 points; and Evgenii Dadonov has 26 goals and 60 points.
Florida’s defense contributes mightily to the attack, especially Aaron Ekblad (16 goals Derrick Thomas Jersey , 35 points), Keith Yandle (eight goals, 55 points) and Mike Matheson (10 goals, 26 points).
Carolina is led by Sebastian Aho, who has a team-high 28 goals and 64 points.
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