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Red Sox Vs. Orioles Lineups: Kyle Weiland Makes MLB Debut Against Orioles

The Red Sox aim to close out their sweep of the Orioles Sunday, with up-and-coming Kyle Weiland taking the mound in his Major League debut.

After frustrations spilled over for the Orioles in Friday's 10-3 bludgeoning, Saturday was almost surprisingly mundane. John Lackey hit two batters, but nothing came of it, and the Sox left with a quiet 4-0 victory. Winners of 9-of-their-last-10 games, the Sox now hold a one game lead on the Yankees in the A.L. East, and a rather comfortable five-game cushion over their potential Wild Card competition the Tampa Bay Rays.

With a righty getting the start for the O's, the Sox are free to go with one of their stronger lineups, featuring Jason Varitek behind the plate, presumably to offer a steady hand for the rookie on the mound.

Boston Red Sox (54-35)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
  5. David Ortiz, DH
  6. Josh Reddick, RF
  7. Jason Varitek, C
  8. J.D. Drew, RF
  9. Marco Scutaro, SS
The Orioles will respond with...well, the same group that's scored all of seven runs this series, give-or-take a left fielder.

Baltimore Orioles (36-51)
  1. J.J. Hardy, SS
  2. Nick Markakis, RF
  3. Adam Jones, CF
  4. Vladimir Guerrero, DH
  5. Matt Wieters, C
  6. Derrek Lee, 1B
  7. Mark Reynolds, 3B
  8. Nolan Reimold, LF
  9. Robert Andino, 2B

Pitching Matchup: Kyle Weiland (MLB Debut) vs. Mitch Atkins (0-0, 1.50 ERA)

With Mitch Atkins' eight MLB appearances (only one start) being the sum total of Major League experience between the two men facing off today, this is certainly a matchup of unknown quantities. 

Entering the season as an upper-level afterthought to Felix Doubront and--to some extent--Andrew Miller, Kyle Weiland has forced himself into a solid point on the depth chart with a very impressive year. Striking out more than a batter an inning in his first exposure to Triple-A hitting, Weiland has pitched to a 3.00 ERA in 17 starts with the Pawtucket Red Sox, putting an exclamation mark on his strong start with eight innings of one hit ball against the Twins' Triple-A squad, striking out 12 men in the process.

A fastball - changeup - curveball pitcher, Weiland has good velocity on his primary offering, and can give different looks to each of his pitches, making him more versatile than he might initially appear. 

Mitch Atkins has spent the last three years of his career working through Triple-A, improving dramatically after 2009, but never really dominating the level--at least peripherally speaking. He showed a willingness to attack the zone in his one earlier start this year, so if he seems to be on the same track today, it may behoove the Sox to start swinging early.