Orioles return home, welcome Rays to town
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Baltimore Orioles could use a trip home.
Fortunately for the American League East leaders, that's exactly what they get on Monday night at Camden Yards when they meet the Tampa Bay Rays to begin a four-game series.
The Orioles arrive home after dropping three straight to the lowly Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field -- their first road sweep of the season. A loss to the Rays on Monday would equal four straight losses and match their longest slide of 2014.
"Every team this time of year has some challenges physically and mentally and emotionally," manager Buck Showalter said. "You get on the plane, you head toward some friendly faces and hopefully we can get back to feeling good about postgame."
Baltimore has won 15 of 20 at home.
Chris Tillman is unbeaten in his last five starts, recording three wins and a 2.14 earned run average. He went eight innings and allowed one run in defeating the White Sox, 5-1, on Tuesday.
He's allowed no more than three runs in any of 13 home starts this season.
Tillman beat Tampa Bay's Jake Odorizzi in a June 27 meeting and will face him again Monday.
Odorizzi was beaten, 6-0, by Detroit in his last start on Wednesday, halting a stretch that had seen him win five of six starts.
He's 4-0 in his last four road starts with a 2.59 ERA.
"(The Orioles) are a tough team and really don't have a soft spot in the lineup," Odorizzi said. "This is the team we need to try to make up ground on."
Tampa Bay trails Baltimore by 10 games in the AL East and is 21-6 on the road since late June.
On Sunday in Toronto, Evan Longoria drove in the game-winning run as the Rays defeated the Blue Jays, 2-1, in 10 innings. Ben Zobrist walked to begin the 10th inning off Sergio Santos (0-3), then Logan Forsythe lifted a fly ball down the right-field line, where Nolan Reimold, who replaced Jose Bautista in the seventh, drifted over to the line and appeared to lose the ball in the sun. Reimold couldn't come up with the ball and it bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double.
Longoria proceeded to lace a single through the left side that plated Zobrist, but Melky Cabrera made a strong throw home to get Forsythe at the plate.
Jake McGee (4-1) grabbed the win for pitching two innings of relief and Brad Boxberger worked out of a first and third jam with no outs in the 10th to nail down his second save of the season.
In Chicago, Tsuyoshi Wada tossed 6 1/3 solid innings to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 2-1 victory and complete a three-game sweep of the Orioles.
Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez (6-7), who was recalled from Double-A Bowie prior to the game, was strong in the setback, allowing just two runs on six hits with three strikeouts over 6 1/3 frames.
The O's are 8-4 against the Rays this season.
08/25 10:52:31 ET