MLB Baseball

16
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Tampa Bay7 2 0 1 0 1 5 0 0 16201
Baltimore0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 452
4
  W: Y. Chirinos (8-4)   L: D. Bundy (4-11)
4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 PM CT, July 12, 2019
Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland  Attendance: 22,422

Rays look to jumpstart second half against O's

According to STATS
According to STATS

Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles

  1. The Rays enter the second half in the first Wild Card spot, half a game up on Cleveland and 1.5 games clear of Oakland. Tampa Bay has spent an MLB-leading 105 days in a playoff spot this season.
  2. The Orioles won five of their last nine games to close out the first half -- a win tonight against the Rays would give Baltimore its first 10-game span this season with a record above .500.
  3. Tampa Bay leads the majors this season with a 3.32 ERA, while Baltimore ranks 30th with a 5.59 ERA. The Rays have given up 89 home runs this season, and are the only team in MLB that has allowed fewer than 100 in 2019. The O's have given up 170 home runs, the most allowed all-time at the All-Star break.
  4. Renato Nunez (20 HR) is just the third Oriole all-time with a season age of 25 or younger with 20+ home runs at the All-Star break, joining Boog Powell (21 in 1964) and Manny Machado (24 in 2018).
  5. Brandon Lowe (16 HR) is one of two rookies this season leading his team in home runs (Pete Alonso, NYM -- 30). Lowe's 16 home runs are tied for the most in franchise history prior to All-Star break by a player in his rookie season, along with Evan Longoria in 2008.
  6. Austin Meadows hasn't hit a home run since May 28 -- the 153 consecutive plate appearances spanning that time are his most in his MLB career without homering. From the beginning of the season through May 28, Meadows averaged a home run every 11.25 at-bats.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 7/12/2019 thru 7/13/2019

The Tampa Bay Rays stumbled in the days leading into the All-Star break while the rebuilding Baltimore Orioles fared a bit better.

They meet in the series opener Friday night at Oriole Park at Camden Yards with a chance to set a positive course for the second half.

The Rays, who had yet to announce a starter for the opener of the four-game series as of Thursday, won their last two games before the break while the Yankees lost two during a four-game series. That let Tampa Bay pull within 6 1/2 games of New York while sitting in second place in the American League East.

All-Star pitcher Charlie Morton (10-2 plus an AL-best 2.32 ERA) earned the win in Sunday's game, and Tampa Bay sits in the top spot for the first Wild Card.

Also hanging over the Rays' heads is what they'll do at the trade deadline. Tampa Bay has gone 17-19 in its last 36 games thanks to injuries and bullpen issues, so the next three weeks likely will determine the team's actions around July 31.

"If you look at where we were two weeks ago and where we are today, you appreciate how quickly the standings can change," Tampa Bay general manager Erik Neander said to MLB.com recently. "I think we're likely to be (more) aggressive the more the division is in play."

The Rays also have dealt with injury issues in the bullpen. Jose Alvarado (right oblique strain) is on the injured list and could be out for a few weeks, according to MLB.com, which also said that pitcher Diego Castillo could return from the injured list when the Baltimore series begins.

Manager Kevin Cash told MLB.com that Emilio Pagan, who earned the save in the final game before the break, could be handling similar situations when the second half begins.

Tampa Bay hadn't announced a starter Thursday afternoon, but the Orioles will use Dylan Bundy (4-10, 4.65) for Friday's game. Bundy's coming off a solid start in the July 5 win over Toronto when he gave up one run on three hits in 6 2/3 innings.

If Bundy, who is 4-5 with a 5.49 ERA in his career versus the Rays, can stay consistent, the Orioles would have three solid starting pitchers -- along with All-Star John Means and Andrew Cashner. But Bundy hasn't found that consistency yet in every start.

The Orioles splitting a six-game road trip, which included taking two of three in Toronto, before the All-Star break. Baltimore was hitting better and getting stronger starting and relief pitching.

"Our starting pitching the last eight days has been pretty good," Orioles manager Brandon Hyde told MLB.com after the Toronto series. "We love to see that. You can't win in this league unless you pitch. I'd love to see our pitching numbers improve, love to see our bullpen guys come in and get outs and improve on their numbers."

In the bullpen, Hyde is still looking for a closer. Mychal Givens had been up and down in that role, and Hyde has tried others, and it will be interesting to see if the Orioles bring up some of their minor-leaguers who are pitching well so far.

But the Orioles also could make some moves at the trade deadline.

Cashner could be an attractive arm and suitors could try to make a run at pitchers like Bundy and Givens.

--Field Level Media

Updated July 11, 2019

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