The Boston Red Sox have a run differential of plus-41 while the Baltimore Orioles are at minus-49. Yet it's the Orioles who are in prime contention for an AL wild-card spot, 5 1/2 games ahead of the Red Sox.
Boston is badly in need of victories in this three-game set at Camden Yards, which opens Tuesday night.
Baltimore (62-53) holds one of the AL's wild-card spots despite being outscored, committing more errors than any team and ranking last in stolen bases.
"From what I understand, this team has some people scratching their heads,'' manager Buck Showalter said.
Showalter's managing has been critical in helping the Orioles go 22-6 in one-run games and 12-2 in extra innings.
"The culture change that has evolved in the last couple years, obviously Buck is a big part of that,'' closer Jim Johnson said. "The personnel is a part of that as well. It's enjoyable, but when we look at it we're not satisfied. We have a goal of where we want to be, what we think we can be.''
It's been a...