American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, July 24th
(All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (49-47) at Baltimore Orioles (51-45), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tampa Bay - Jeremy Hellickson (4-6, 3.55)
Baltimore - Wei-Yin Chen (8-5, 3.80)
(Sports Network) - The struggling Tampa Bay Rays will open a nine-game road
trip in Charm City on Tuesday, when they face Wei-Yin Chen and the Baltimore
Orioles in the opener of a three-game set.
The Rays were once in first place in the American League East, but have gone
just 14-22 since June 11 and are now in third, nine games off the pace of the
New York Yankees and two games south of the Orioles after dropping the final
two tests of a three-game series against Seattle this past weekend.
The Mariners' Blake Beavan spun eight innings of one-run ball on Sunday,
lifting Seattle to its second consecutive 2-1 victory over the Rays in the
rubber match of the set at Tropicana Field.
Beavan (5-6) surrendered just four hits and didn't walk a batter while
striking out five to earn the victory.
Matt Moore (6-7) was the tough-luck loser for Tampa Bay, as he fired eight
strong innings of two-run ball, allowing just five hits and striking out seven
without walking a batter.
Matt Joyce accounted for the Rays' only run with an RBI single in the first
inning as Tampa finished off a season-long 10-game homestand at 4-6.
"We had every opportunity (to win) the past two days," admitted Rays manager
Joe Maddon. "Our pitching was good enough to permit us to win. The offense has
been challenged lately. We could have, should have been better."
The O's, who are kicking off a six-game homestand tonight, lost for the first
time in six games on Monday, dropping a 3-1 decision in Cleveland. Justin
Masterson outdueled Tommy Hunter in that one as the Indians took the finale of
a four-game set.
Masterson (7-8) held Baltimore to one run on seven hits over 7 1/3 innings,
while Hunter (4-5) allowed three runs in seven-plus innings. The Baltimore
hurler surrendered eight hits and struck out four as the Orioles saw their
season high-tying five-game win streak come to an end.
"I know our guys feel like there was a game there to be won, with the pitching
we got," manager Buck Showalter said.
Chen will be facing Tampa Bay for the second time in his rookie season. The
left-hander, who halted a personal three-game losing streak at Minnesota last
Thursday, struggled mightily in a 5-0 loss at Tampa Bay on June 1, allowing
five runs in 5 2/3 innings.
Chen's counterpart, Jeremy Hellickson, is going through a miserable 0-6
stretch over his last nine starts, but is 4-2 with a 2.36 ERA in his career
against the Orioles.
These teams have split previous meetings this season, with the Orioles taking
two of three games from Tampa Bay at Camden Yards from May 11-13.
07/24 10:48:05 ET