Listen live as the Baltimore Orioles travel to Tampa Bay to face the Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Tune in on 105.7 the Fan (no streaming). 
When: 7:10 PM ET, Friday, July 15, 2016
Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MASN2 (Baltimore)

The Baltimore Orioles hope to build on their lead in the American League East as they visit the struggling Tampa Bay Rays on Friday for the opener of a three-game series. The Orioles won four of their last five contests before the All-Star break to take a two-game lead over both Boston and Toronto while the Rays have dropped 22 of 25.

Baltimore trails the Red Sox and Blue Jays in runs scored this season but leads all of baseball with 137 homers – 28 from major-league leader Mark Trumbo. Jonathan Schoop enters Friday with a nine-game hitting streak and Adam Jones has hit safely in eight in a row for the Orioles while Manny Machado is 13-for-38 with three homers against the Rays this year. Tampa Bay limped into the break with six straight losses and is 2-7 against Baltimore in 2016 after getting swept in a four-game series from June 24-26. Evan Longoria has been the most consistent offensive force for the Rays, recording 19 homers and 47 RBIs this year while going 10-for-21 over his last five games.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Yovani Gallardo (3-1, 5.82 ERA) vs. Rays RH Chris Archer (4-12, 4.66)

Gallardo is unbeaten in five starts (2-0) since coming off the disabled list and has allowed three or fewer runs in four of those outings. However, the 30-year-old Mexican struggled with control in those starts, walking 16 in a total of 25 1/3 innings. Gallardo permitted three runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 frames of a no-decision against Tampa Bay on June 24 and is 2-1 with a 3.52 ERA in four career games versus the Rays.

Archer, who is making his 20th start of the season, has dropped five straight decisions after giving up five runs and seven hits over six innings against Boston last time out. The North Carolina native has recorded 130 strikeouts in 110 innings but has completed more than six frames just once in his last five outings. Manny Machado is 9-for-25 with a homer versus Archer, who is 3-5 lifetime – 1-1 this year – with a 4.48 ERA against Baltimore.


1. Tampa Bay OF-DH Corey Dickerson is 8-for-17 during a five-game hitting streak and 4-for-6 with a homer in his career against Gallardo.

2. Baltimore LHP Zach Britton owns 100 career saves – not including his effort in the All-Star Game on Tuesday — and is tied with Stu Miller for fourth place on the franchise list.

3. The Rays will recall C Luke Maile for Friday’s contest and have signed RHP Kevin Jepsen, who was released by Minnesota.

PREDICTION: Rays 6, Orioles 4