Where: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland
The Tampa Bay Rays are making quite an impact on the American League East race from last place and look to cause some more damage when they visit the Baltimore Orioles on Friday. The Rays have won four of their last five contests – all against teams in the chase for the division crown – after edging the Orioles 7-6 on Thursday in the opener of their four-game series.
Tampa Bay, which took two of three from Toronto and the finale against the New York Yankees on its current road trip, snapped a seven-game losing streak at Camden Yards as Evan Longoria hit his career high-tying 33rd homer and knocked in five runs. Chris Archer goes to the mound Friday trying to avoid a club-record 19th loss for the Rays and attempting to keep the major league’s best home run-hitting team in check for the second straight night. The Orioles, who occupy one of the two AL wild-card spots, trail Boston by two games in the East after stranding a runner at third in the ninth inning and going without a blast on Thursday. Veteran Ubaldo Jimenez goes for Baltimore on Friday after winning each of his last two starts, including a complete-game gem at Tampa Bay almost two weeks ago.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FSN Sun (Tampa Bay), MASN2 (Baltimore)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays RH Chris Archer (8-18, 4.05 ERA) vs. Orioles RH Ubaldo Jimenez (7-11, 5.98)
Archer has equaled Tanyon Sturtze’s club record for losses in a season but has pitched well over the last two months, allowing three runs or fewer in nine of 10 starts. The 27-year-old is just 4-5 during that stretch after yielding three runs over seven innings in a loss to New York last Friday. Jonathan Schoop is 5-for-13 with a homer versus Archer, who is 3-6 with a 4.52 ERA lifetime against the Orioles.
Jimenez has been solid in his last four starts, permitting nine runs and 16 hits over 28 2/3 innings. The 32-year-old Dominican, who has posted a 3.24 ERA since the All-Star break, held the Rays to three runs and two hits on Sept. 3 for his ninth career complete game. Jimenez has kept Longoria under control (2-for-13, five strikeouts) and owns a 5-2 record against Tampa Bay with a 2.89 ERA in seven career contests.
1. Baltimore 3B Manny Machado is 8-for-25 during his six-game hitting streak after notching a pair of singles on Thursday.
2. Tampa Bay OF-DH Corey Dickerson boasts a nine-game hitting streak, going 17-for-35 with eight RBIs in that span.
3. Orioles SS J.J. Hardy is 4-for-8 with a homer and six RBIs over his last three contests.
PREDICTION: Rays 6, Orioles 4