Orioles, Rays battle for AL East supremacy

Orioles, Rays battle for AL East supremacy


The suddenly first-place Baltimore Orioles look to remain atop the American League East when they open a four-game series on Thursday against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla

The Orioles‘ 8-5 win over the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, coupled with the Rays‘ 5-1 road setback against the Texas Rangers, elevated Baltimore (58-37, .611 winning percentage) to first, percentage points ahead of Tampa Bay (60-39, .606)

“It’s going to be a fun series,” said Orioles reliever Danny Coulombe, who picked up the victory on Wednesday by allowing one hit over 2 1/3 scoreless innings. “This is what you want. This is what baseball wants. Two really good teams, and it’s going to be some fun games.

The Rays, who were swept in a three-game series by the Rangers, have dropped four straight and 11 of their past 14 contests

“We just couldn’t get anything going, and that’s the way it goes sometimes, but it does feel like it is accumulating quite a bit,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “We’re not creating opportunities like we’re capable of, and the things that we’re doing well are probably not showing up at the rate that we’d like.”

The Orioles entered their three-game series against the Dodgers riding a season-high, eight-game winning streak. However, they dropped the first two games by a combined score of 16-7 before salvaging the series finale on Wednesday

Baltimore took two of three games from the Rays in the teams’ first series of the year in early May, with all three games decided by three runs or fewer. The teams split a two-game set in late June in Florida, with the Orioles taking the first game 8-6 before the Rays cruised to a 7-2 win in the finale

On Thursday, the Orioles will turn to Kyle Gibson (9-6, 4.77 ERA). The right-hander is coming off allowing five runs on nine hits with a strikeout and two walks over 5 1/3 innings during a no-decision against the visiting Miami Marlins on Saturday. Baltimore emerged with a 6-5 win

Gibson was much more effective against the Rays when he faced them on May 8. He allowed two runs on six hits with four strikeouts and two walks over six innings in a 3-0 loss

In his career against Tampa Bay, Gibson is 6-6 with a 4.24 ERA and 54 strikeouts against 24 walks over 76 1/3 innings spanning 14 appearances, including 13 starts.

The Rays will counter with right-hander Tyler Glasnow (3-3, 3.78 ERA), who was dominant in his latest start. He allowed a run on six hits with seven strikeouts and two walks with seven strikeouts in a 6-1 win over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday

Glasnow, however, was rocked by the Orioles earlier in the season — his first career loss against Baltimore. He gave up six runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and two walks in just 4 1/3 innings during an 8-6 defeat on June 20

Glasnow is 4-1 with a 3.23 ERA with 55 strikeouts against just eight walks over 39 innings spanning seven starts against the Orioles in his career

–Field Level Media


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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.