O’s game blog : Hellickson on the mound against Tampa Bay

After winning 3-1 over Tampa Bay on Thursday and losing 8-3 last night, the Orioles host the Rays tonight in Game 3 of the final home series of the year.

At 74-81 with seven games to play, the only thing standing between the Orioles and finishing this season with a losing record is one more loss. Anything short of a 7-0 finish will ensure that.

The Orioles have lost seven of nine and 13 of 16. Since they won seven in a row to improve to three games over .500 on Aug. 30, they are 6-16.

hellickson-white-side-close.jpgRight-hander Jeremy Hellickson (2-5, 7.29 ERA) will make his 10th start since his trade to the Orioles tonight. Hellickson has allowed five runs or more five times. He has four quality starts and the Orioles are 4-5 in his outings.

Since he gave up three runs in seven innings on Aug. 25 against Boston, he is 0-3 with an ERA of 10.69 in his past four starts. Over 16 innings, he has allowed 19 earned runs, walked 12, fanned seven and allowed five home runs.

In four home starts, Hellickson is 1-1 with an ERA of 8.20. He has given up six homers in 18 2/3 innings at Oriole Park. Lefty batters hit .242 against him, right-handers are hitting .253 and he yields an average of .429 when pitching with runners in scoring position.

Right-hander Jake Odorizzi (9-8, 4.46 ERA) will make his 27th start for the Rays. Over his last three outings, he is 2-1 with a 1.65 ERA, allowing three earned runs on five hits over 16 1/3 innings. In 11 road starts, he is 4-2 with a 4.41 ERA.

Odorizzi has made two starts this year against the Orioles, going 1-0 with a 6.10 ERA. Lefty batters hit .216 off him, right-handers hit .232 and he gives up an average against of .218 when pitching with RISP.

The Orioles are 45-34 at home, 36-35 versus American League East opponents and 7-7 against the Rays, They are 4-4 at Oriole Park versus Tampa Bay.

Adam Jones recorded his 1,614th and 1,615th hits as an Oriole on Friday. Jones is now in sole possession of fourth place on the Orioles’ all-time hit list, passing Brady Anderson. Chris Davis slugged his 25th home run on Friday, his 224th with Baltimore, passing Rafael Palmeiro for sixth place on the Orioles’ all-time home runs list.

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