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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, August 27 (All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (64-68) at Baltimore Orioles (75-55), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tampa Bay - Drew Smyly (8-10, 3.42) Baltimore - Kevin Gausman (7-5, 3.81)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Baltimore Orioles love them some home-cooking.
The Camden Yards residents will aim for a fifth consecutive win in front of the home folks on Wednesday night, when they entertain the visiting Tampa Bay Rays in game three of a four-game series.
The Orioles have stretched their home win streak by taking the first two games of the series -- scoring nine runs in a Monday blowout before getting 4 1/3 innings of zeroes from the bullpen in a one-run encore on Tuesday.
Baltimore stretched its lead to seven games in the American League East, and its relief pitchers have compiled a stingy 1.27 earned run average over their last 10 games.
"Coming off (Monday), we had such a great game and you want to kind of repeat it, but the pace of the game kind of slows your excitement down a little bit," Baltimore's Caleb Joseph said. "You've got to stay into it, and our guys did a great job."
The Orioles have won four straight at home two times already this season, but have been unable to get the streak to five. Since June 30, they have a 17-5 record at home, which is best in the majors.
Getting to five gets no easier this time while facing Rays newcomer Drew Smyly, who's posted a 1.55 ERA in four starts since arriving from Detroit in a deadline deal that sent David Price to the Tigers.
In his most recent start on Friday, Smyly threw his first complete game in an 8-0 defeat of Toronto, retiring the final 19 batters.
"You have to do your job and be on point from inning one to inning nine to usually throw a complete game," he said. "It's tough; not many do it. It's a good mark to reach and a big accomplishment for me."
The Rays have scored only five runs in their last three games, including four in the first two against the Orioles. Tampa Bay left nine runners on base in Tuesday's loss.
"It's the same refrain ... inability to score with runners in scoring position," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Baltimore's Kevin Gausman gets the ball after allowing three runs in five innings of a 4-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs in his last start on Friday.
"It's one of those things where you learn from it, try to take what you can and move past it," he said.
He'd been nicked for five or more runs twice in three meetings with the Rays. On June 27, he allowed five in five-plus innings of a 5-2 loss in Baltimore.
On Tuesday, Jonathan Schoop delivered a tie-breaking RBI single in the sixth inning, Caleb Joseph went 2-for-4 with two RBI and the Orioles came through with a 4-2 decision over Tampa Bay.
Nelson Cruz also had two hits, including a run-scoring double, while four Baltimore relievers combined for 4 1/3 scoreless innings.
Brad Brach (5-0) collected the victory with 1 1/3 shutout frames after taking over for starter Wei-Yin Chen.
Grant Balfour (1-6) was handed the loss for being charged with two runs in one-plus inning of work.
Evan Longoria finished 2-for-4 and knocked in both Tampa Bay runs, with Desmond Jennings also recording a pair of hits in defeat.
The O's are 10-4 against the Rays this season.
08/27 10:22:40 ET
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