Looking at the Orioles vs. Shields

Mark Reynolds batted .198 last year for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He's hitting .198 going into tonight's series-opener against the Tampa Bay Rays.

This .198 looks a lot better than the other one.

Reynolds has gone 4-for-6 over his last two games after a 5-for-53 slump. He's collected at least one hit in five of his last seven games.

Maybe he'll clear the Mendoza Line tonight.

Reynolds went 1-for-3 with two strikeouts in his only previous game against Rays starter James Shields.

Shields is 2-1 with a 2.14 ERA this season, with nine walks, 39 strikeouts and a 0.95 WHIP. The Rays have won his last five starts.

Shields has gone seven innings or more in five of his six outings, and at least eight innings in the last three. He's held opponents to four runs over 33 innings in his last four starts.

He won't be an easy mark tonight.

The Orioles beat Shields on April 2 at Tropicana Field, though they managed only two runs and four hits in 7 1/3 innings. He's 7-5 with a 3.57 ERA in 20 career games against them.

He hasn't dominated the lineup top to bottom. Adam Jones is batting .393 (11-for-28) against him, with five doubles, one triple, one homer and four RBIs. Vladimir Guerrero is hitting .389 (14-for-36) with two doubles, two homers and six RBIs. Luke Scott is hitting .353 (12-for-34) with four doubles, one homer and five RBIs. Nick Markakis is batting .304 (17-for-56) with four doubles, two homers and five RBIs.

It doesn't end there.

Felix Pie is 5-for-13 with three doubles. Derrek Lee is 4-for-6.

Another Manny Machado update: He'll be examined by a team physician at 1 p.m.

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