Baltimore at Boston

Venue: Fenway Park

Manny Machado is still out, but rookie Jonathan Schoop is certainly picking up the slack.

Schoop looks to build on his best performance yet and lead the Baltimore Orioles to their first four-game winning streak since July on Saturday against the Boston Red Sox.

Machado is a cornerstone for the Orioles (8-7), but the All-Star third baseman has started the season on the disabled list while recovering from left knee surgery.

While Machado reportedly may return next month, Schoop is helping make that wait a bit more bearable. The 22-year-old is 12 of 28 with six doubles, one homer and seven RBIs during a seven-game hitting streak.

"As intense as these games are at this level, you do step back and watch Jon," manager Buck Showalter said of his rookie third baseman, who made all five appearances last year at second. "It's fun to watch. (He's got) a great look on his face, just a real sincere, earnest look. He's not giddy. That's what I like about him."

Schoop turned in his best effort yet Friday, getting a career-high four hits with two doubles and two RBIs to power an 8-4 win at Boston (7-10) in the opener of this four-game wraparound series.

"It feels good, especially if you win and get a W," Schoop said. "It feels really, really good."

Another win would give the Orioles - winners of four of five at Fenway Park - a four-game winning streak for the first time since a five-game run from July 14-22, their longest last season.

Bud Norris (0-1, 3.75) will get the ball looking to build on his outstanding second outing, as he tossed seven scoreless innings in a 2-1 win in 12 over Toronto last Saturday. That was a dramatic improvement after he surrendered five runs and nine hits in five innings of a 7-6 defeat at Detroit a week earlier.

Norris is 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 17 1-3 innings over three starts against Boston. The right-hander fanned seven batters and yielded one run in 5 1-3 innings at Fenway on Aug. 28 only to have the bullpen blow a two-run lead in a 4-3 defeat.

Boston has dropped five of seven at home thanks in large part to a 4.85 ERA - 5.03 from the rotation.

They'll hope Felix Doubront (1-2, 6.75) can end those struggles, and he made some progress in his last start. The left-hander gave up three runs in 6 2-3 innings Sunday in a 3-2 road loss to the New York Yankees.

Doubront was tagged for five runs in 2 2-3 innings of a 10-7 home loss to Texas on April 8.

"He was good," catcher A.J. Pierzynski told the team's official website after the loss in the Bronx. "When he throws the ball over the plate, he's as good as anybody. I think, what, two of the walks scored. It just drives his pitch count up. It puts him in situations he shouldn't be in."

Doubront is 1-0 with a 1.72 ERA in four home games - two starts - versus the Orioles. He beat them again in his season debut April 3 in Baltimore, yielding three runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 4-3 victory.

Mike Carp doubled for one of his two hits Friday, and he's batting .371 over his past 12 meetings with Baltimore.

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TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Baltimore3rd AL East2623.5313 ½ 3-7 W 1
Boston2nd AL East2723.54036-4 L 2

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