7:00 PM ET, August 21, 2013
Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland
Tampa Bay: Hellickson (10-6, 4.91 ERA)
Baltimore: Chen (6-6, 3.23 ERA)
The Tampa Bay Rays were having a hard time away from home heading into their series with the Baltimore Orioles, however they seem to be feeling great at Camden Yards.
Tonight the Rays will try to complete a three-game sweep of Baltimore by winning for the seventh time in eight games.
Tampa Bay had dropped five straight MLB games on the road — their longest road skid since 2009 — before winning Monday’s series opener 4-3 behind a two-run homer from Matt Joyce and a solo shot from Evan Longoria.
Joyce, who had five RBIs in his previous 28 games combined, then drove in three runs as Wil Myers added a pair of RBIs in Tuesday’s 7-4 win to assist the Rays (72-52) win for the fifth straight time in Baltimore.
Tampa Bay, who lead the AL wild-card race and are tied with the Boston Red Sox for the East lead, have won six of seven overall following a six-game losing streak.
In the mean time, the O’s (67-58) have lost six of eight and sits 5 1/2 games behind the Rays, which have won seven of the last eight meetings overall. Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer in the ninth Tuesday to pull Baltimore closer, but they couldn’t overcome the Rays’ four-run top half of the inning.
Wieters is 16 for 48 with five of his 19 homers and 14 RBIs in the season series. The 27 year old’s a career .337 hitter with 15 home runs in 69 games versus the Rays.
Teammate Chris Davis singled, walked and was hit by a pitch, but he’s just 2 for 22 (.091) in his last six against Tampa Bay. He hit .483 with four homers, four doubles and 15 RBIs in the first eight meetings this baseball season.
According to the MLB moneyline, the Orioles will look to recover with help from Wei-Yin Chen, who has been solid recently versus Tampa Bay.
However Chen (6-6, 3.23 ERA) has lost three straight starts while posting a 4.66 ERA after allowing four runs in 6 1/3 innings of Friday’s 6-3 defeat versus the Colorado Rockies. He gave up at least three runs for the fifth consecutive outing despite striking out seven and retiring 12 of the first 13 hitters he faced.
The Rays will counter with Jeremy Hellickson (10-6, 4.91) who gave up five runs and eight hits in six innings versus the O’s in April before allowing a career worst-tying eight runs in 7 2/3 innings of a 12-10 win May 17.