Last 10 games: 4-6
Who to watch: 1B C.J. Cron (20 HR, 51 RBIs), 2B Daniel Robertson (9 HR, 31 RBIs), RF Carlos Gomez (8 HR, 23 RBsI), Mallex Smith (.284, 17 SB), Matt Duffy (.305), RHP Sergio Romo (12 saves)
Season series vs. Orioles: 5-4
July 26: RHP Alex Cobb (2-13) vs. RHP Hunter Wood (0-0); 7:05 p.m., MASN2
July 27: RHP Andrew Cashner (2-9) vs. RHP Chris Archer (3-4); 7:05 p.m., MASN2
July 28: RHP Kevin Gausman (4-8) vs. TBA (0-0); 7:05 p.m., MASN2
July 29: RHP Yefry Ramírez (1-3) vs. TBA (0-0); 1:05 p.m., MASN2
Inside the Rays:
Similar to the club they are facing in a four-game series this weekend, the Rays have been active sellers with the non-waiver trade deadline approaching on July 31. They managed to come away with the victory last night against the Yankees despite the fact their scheduled starter, Nathan Eovaldi, was shipped up to Fenway Park just hours before the start of the series finale. In addition to Eovaldi, the Rays also flipped reliever Matt Andriese for a pair of prospects in an exchange with the Diamondbacks. The wheeling and dealing is expected to continue up to the deadline with rumors swirling about contending clubs pursuing Tampa Bay talent, including right-hander Chris Archer (4.30 ERA), injured catcher Wilson Ramos and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (.262)
Kevin Kiermaier’s two-run homer last night against the Yankees put the wheels in motion for a 3-1 victory over the Yankees. C.J. Cron joined in on the fun with a solo homer that put the game out of reach and helped build momentum for Cash’s club before they make the trip up to Baltimore for the four-game series against the struggling Orioles. Cron’s 20 homers lead the Rays, who miss the offense Ramos provided. They have table-setters in left fielder Mallex Smith (.284/.346/.400), third baseman Matt Duffy (.305/.359/.396) and the now-healthy Kiermaier
Hunter Wood is making his first career appearance against the Orioles as the Rays make their last trip to Charm City this season. Wood allowed one run on two hits and one walk while striking out two batters in two innings on Monday in their series opener against the Bronx Bombers. He didn’t factor into the decision against the Yankees. One of the biggest questions leading up to the July 31 deadline is whether Archer, Friday’s scheduled starter, will be dealt. He’s struggled to a 3-4 record and 4.30 ERA in 16 starts this season. Archer is 6-9 with a 5.10 ERA in his career against the Orioles and 2-6 with a 6.84 ERA at Camden Yards. The Rays have not announced starters for the Saturday and Sunday games in Baltimore, and it’s possible they go with their tactic of starting a relief pitcher to throw an inning or so, followed by another reliever pitching multiple innings.
Sergio Romo has been Cash’s preferred closer, posting 12 saves. But he’s also blown six chances and has a 3.63 ERA.