When: 6:10 PM ET, Saturday, September 19, 2015
Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
TV: 6:10 p.m. ET, MASN2 (Baltimore), Sun Sports (Tampa Bay)
After keeping their playoff hopes alive with a late rally in the series opener, the Baltimore Orioles watched the Tampa Bay Rays return the favor 24 hours by erasing an early three-run deficit en route to an 8-6 victory. It was only the third defeat in 10 games for visiting Baltimore, which is 4 1/2 games out of the second wild card entering the third of a four-game series Saturday.
The Rays improved to 3-5 on their 10-game homestand and sit 5 1/2 games behind Houston with only 15 to play. Mikie Mahtook set a franchise rookie record with a five-hit performance in Friday’s win, tying a club record in the process, and scored the go-ahead run on Grady Sizemore’s three-run double. Steve Pearce went deep twice for the Orioles, giving him 10 home runs in 37 career games against the Orioles. Baltimore left-hander Wei-Yin Chen looks to reach double digits in wins for the third time in four seasons when he opposes Tampa Bay’s Erasmo Ramirez.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles LH Wei-Yin Chen (9-7, 3.44 ERA) vs. Rays RH Erasmo Ramirez (10-5, 3.75)
Chen bounced back from a pair of shaky outings to limit Kansas City to two runs on six hits over seven innings and improve to 5-1 over his last 10 turns. Although he has had a few clunkers during that stretch, Chen has received at least five runs of support in seven of the 10 outings. He made his fifth start this season against the Rays on Aug. 31 and was saddled with the loss after giving up five runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Ramirez was magnificent against the New York Yankees on Monday, carrying a no-hitter into the eighth inning before settling for a one-hitter despite a season-high 7 2/3 frames. That put an end to a four-start stretch in which Ramirez permitted 15 runs over 20 1/3 innings, including four runs in four innings versus Baltimore on Sept. 2. Erasmus is 2-1 with a 4.01 ERA in six appearances (five starts) versus the Orioles.
1. Although Rays 1B James Loney is 12-for-24 in his last eight contests, he snapped an 11-game RBI drought with a pair on Friday.
2. Orioles 2B Jonathan Schoop is riding a career-best 11-game hitting streak.
3. Rays OF Desmond Jennings’ injury-plagued season came to an end when he require oral surgery for an infected tooth.
PREDICTION: Rays 4, Orioles 3
By SportsDirect Inc.