Preview: Rays at Orioles
GAME: Tampa Bay Rays (65-66) at Baltimore Orioles (63-68)
DATE/TIME: Tuesday, September 01 – 7:05 PM EST
WHERE: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland
LINE: 115, -125 TOTAL: 8
The Tampa Bay Rays hope to remain in the thick of the postseason race at the expense of the skidding Baltimore Orioles when the American League East rivals continue their three-game series at Camden Yards. Tampa Bay has rebounded after losing five of six to win two in a row and move 3 1/2 games behind Texas while bumbling Baltimore has dropped five in a row and 11 of 12 to fall 5 1/2 games back of the Rangers.
Logan Forsythe has collected five hits in the last two contests, but is just 3-for-11 (.214) in his career versus Tuesday starter Chris Tillman. Kevin Kiermaier highlighted Monday’s 6-3 triumph with a leaping catch to deny Manny Machado a homer in the first inning, but exited the contest with a mild right ankle sprain and is listed as day-to-day. In the other dugout, Machado lamented his team’s mounting troubles, telling reporters that it was the “icing on the cake. That’s just how things are going around here right now,” Baltimore’s once-potent offense is clearly lacking a punch as Chris Davis is 4-for-37 (.108) with 20 strikeouts in his last 10 games while Matt Wieters is 4-for-33 (.121) in that same stretch.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, SUN (Tampa Bay), MASN (Baltimore)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays LH Drew Smyly (1-2, 3.82 ERA) vs. Orioles RH Chris Tillman (9-9, 4.58)
Smyly was fortunate to walk away with a no-decision on Thursday after allowing four runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings against Minnesota. The 26-year-old looks to get back into the win column versus the Orioles, against whom he owns a 2-0 career mark with one save and a 1.00 ERA while limiting the opposition to a .138 batting average. Smyly was saddled with a no-decision in his last meeting with the Orioles despite yielding one run on four hits while striking out eight in six innings.
Tillman dropped his second straight start after yielding four runs on nine hits in six innings of a 5-3 setback to Kansas City on Thursday. Prior to this back-to-back losses, the 27-year-old last tasted defeat on May 31, after he was blitzed for six runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 frames of a 9-5 loss to Tampa Bay. Tillman, who is 5-8 against the Rays in his career, allowed one run on four hits in 6 2/3 innings of a 6-2 triumph over Tampa Bay on April before scattering two runs on three hits in seven innings in a hard-luck 2-0 loss on May 1.
1. Tampa Bay SS Asdrubal Cabrera, who homered on Monday, has hit safely in 25 of his last 30 games.
2. Baltimore RF Gerardo Parra is 1-for-14 in his last three contests.
3. Rays RF Daniel Nava is 0-for-8 in his last three games after going 6-for-12 with two runs scored in his previous three.
PREDICTION: Rays 4, Orioles 2