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Red Sox Go For Series Sweep, Orioles Just Trying Not To Embarrass Themselves

(Sports Network) - Even with Juan Samuel now leading the way, the Baltimore Orioles are still finding themselves in the loss column.

The team will try to crack its 10-game losing skid when the Boston Red Sox take the field at Camden Yards this afternoon in the finale of a three-game set.

Last night, Jon Lester was solid over 6 1/3 shutout innings, continuing his mastery of the Orioles in an 8-2 Red Sox victory.

Lester (7-2) allowed four hits and three walks while fanning four to improve to 11-0 lifetime against the Orioles, and the Red Sox notched their seventh straight road win -- the longest such streak for the team since 2005. Lester also won his fourth straight start and has won seven straight decisions over his last nine trips to the mound.

Kevin Youkilis homered and hit a two-run double, while Darnell McDonald and Bill Hall also had two-run doubles for Boston, which has won six of its last seven overall.

Baltimore's Jeremy Guthrie (3-6) was dealt the hard-luck loss after giving up just two runs on five hits and a walk in 7 1/3 frames. Despite the defeat, Guthrie has given up just nine runs over his last five starts, spanning 33 1/3 innings.

If the Orioles are going to break out of this rut, they will need youngster Brian Matusz to lead the way. However, the 23-year-old rookie has lost six of his last eight starts and has not claimed a victory since April 18.

The last time the southpaw was on the rubber, he tossed 6 2/3 innings against the New York Yankees on Tuesday and allowed three runs -- one earned -- on six hits. It was not a terrible outing for Matusz, who also struck out five batters, but unfortunately he suffered the loss to the Bronx Bombers.

Matusz made his first career start against the Red Sox earlier this season, and in that outing the young hurler allowed three runs on six hits and three walks. Matusz lasted six innings en route to a no decision.

The Red Sox will turn to John Lackey, who might finally be turning the corner after dealing with inconsistency throughout the early stages of the season.

The veteran right-hander has won back-to-back starts and in four of his last six trips to the mound. However, while Lackey was victorious in his recent matchup against Oakland, he was not at his sharpest, as he allowed four runs on 12 hits in six innings.

This will be the 15th career start for Lackey against the O's and his second of the season. Lackey, who is 9-3 with a 3.17 ERA against Baltimore, tossed seven innings against the Orioles back in April, surrendering just three runs while striking out six batters.

Baltimore had won four straight over the Sox, including a three-game sweep at Camden Yards from April 30-May 2, before losing Friday's opener of this series. Boston is 29-8 against the Orioles in the last 37 meetings between these AL Central foes, however.