After dropping three of four to the Cleveland Indians to kick off their ten-game homestand, the Orioles will look to turn things around over their upcoming rain-shortened two-game set against the Tampa Bay Rays. The originally-scheduled third game will be made up as part of a single-admission doubleheader on May 12.
The Orioles (6-17) will also be looking to put and end to their nightmare start and begin their climb out of the massive early-season hole that they find themselves in. However, it remains easier said than done after dropping nine of their last ten ballgames and twelve of their last fifteen.
If the Orioles have any shot of a resurgence, they’ll need their offense to wake up sooner rather than later. Through the first 23 games of the season, the Orioles are tied for dead last in the majors in batting average (.215) and OBP (.284) while scoring an AL-worst 3.2 runs per game.
The Rays (8-13) also dug themselves into an early season hole by beginning the season with a 3-12 record, but have won five of their last six since and come into Baltimore on a four-game winning streak.
The Rays also come into town swinging red-hot bats, and after putting up 26 runs over their three-game sweep of the Twins, they’ve now pushed 40 runs across the plate over their last six contests. In contrast, the O’s have scored just 29 runs over their last ten.
Alex Cobb (0-2, 15.43 ERA) will take the mound at Camden Yards for the first time as an Oriole against his former club and teammate, Jacob Faria (1-1, 5.82 ERA), in tonight’s series opener.
Cobb was drilled for five runs on ten hits over just 3 1/3 innings during his last start in Detroit, and will be looking to shake off a rough start to his tenure in Baltimore during his home debut.
Faria notched his first win of the season after holding the Rangers to just one run over six innings in his latest outing, and will be looking for his third straight quality start. After getting tagged for eight runs over 1 2/3 innings against Boston on April 7th, he’s now allowed just two runs over his last 11 1/3 innings.
Dylan Bundy (1-2, 1.42 ERA) will take on Chris Archer (1-1, 6.59 ERA) in Thursday’s match-up.
Bundy was finally rewarded with a notch in the win column, allowing one run on five hits over six solid innings against the Tribe, and will be looking for his sixth straight quality start against the Rays. Over his first five amazing starts of 2018, Bundy has allowed two earned runs or fewer in all five outings and one or zero in three of five.
Archer recorded his long-awaited first quality start of the campaign, holding the Twins to two runs on four hits over 6 2/3 innings, but took the no-decision in the Rays eventual 8-7 win. Prior to his latest outing, Archer had allowed four runs or more in each of his first four starts.
-Manny Machado remains the only Orioles hitter in-form, and will look to extend his current eleven-game hitting streak against the Rays. During that span, Machado has gone 17-for-41 (.415) at the plate with five doubles, five home runs and eleven RBI.
– The Rays on the other hand, have an entire line-up that seems to be hitting top gear, but first basman C.J. Cron, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and left fielder Denard Span have really sparked the fire as of late.
– Cron (.273, 5 HR, 13 RBI) has gone 10-for-26 (.385) with three home runs and eight RBI over his last six games. He’s also posted multi-hit performances in five of those six.
– Hechavarria (.275, 1 HR, 11 RBI) has gone 10-for-22 (.455) with one homer and six RBI over his current six-game hit streak.
– Span (.259, 1 HR, 17 RBI) has gone 8-for-22 (.364) at the plate with one home run and nine RBI during his current five-game hitting tear.
That’s it for now, folks!
Here’s to a few in the win column.