O's game blog: Looking for a win in the Tampa Bay series

Hoping their offense will break out to help the cause, the Orioles host the Rays tonight looking for their first win in Game 3 of this series. With wins by 4-3 and 7-1 the last two nights, the Rays have tied the Orioles for first place atop the American League East.

Tonight's winner will sit alone atop the division.

Baltimore's offense, which produced just two runs in the last two games of the St. Louis series, has scored only six runs on 18 hits in the past four games. The O's have lost those four by a combined 17-6 score. They are 1-5 in the last six games by a 29-20 score. 

The four-game losing streak matches the longest of the season for the Orioles, who also had lost four in a row June 27-July 1.

In this series, O's batters are just 6-for-59 (.102) scoring four runs and going 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

The Orioles (91-56) are now 37-21 in the second half, 43-30 at home and 43-24 since the start of July.

They are 6-5 versus the Rays but have been outscored 44-35 in the season series.

Over longer stretches, Baltimore has won eight of 13, 14 of 22, 17 of 26 and 20 of the last 31 games.

Tampa Bay (92-57) is 7-1 in the last eight games and has won 14 of 19, 18 of 24, 20 of 27 and 23 of its past 32 games. 

Tampa Bay is 80-21 when scoring four runs or more and 72-22 when they score first in the game. 

Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe launched his 20th home run of the season in the fourth inning Friday night. He has a hit in 16 of his last 19 games, batting .304 (21-for-69) with five doubles, four homers, 13 runs, 18 RBIs, and a .933 OPS in that span.

Harold Ramírez blasted a pinch-hit, three-run homer on the first pitch he saw from Bryan Baker in the sixth, the first pinch-hit homer of his career and second by a Rays batter this season. Luke Raley hit one Aug. 16 at San Francisco. The blast registered an exit velocity of 112.5 mph, making it the hardest-hit home run of his career and his 11 home runs tied a single-season career high set in 2019 with the Marlins.

Right-hander Grayson Rodriguez (5-4, 4.88 ERA) will make his 21st start and the Orioles are 12-8 in the first 20. He gave up four runs (two earned) in 4 1/3 Sunday at Boston. But in 10 starts since his return to the roster July 17, Rodriguez is 3-2 with a 2.95 ERA and .612 OPS against. 

In two starts this year versus Tampa Bay, he is 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA. And in seven 2023 starts within the AL East, he is 1-2 with a 3.26 ERA and .699 OPS.

Righty Tyler Glasnow (9-5, 3.15 ERA) starts for the Rays, who are 11-7 in his games this season. In his last four starts, he is 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA. In two starts this year versus the Orioles he is 0-1 with a 6.35 ERA. 

With a win tonight, the Rays would secure their first series victory over the Orioles since Aug. 12-14, 2022, and their first in Baltimore since Aug. 27-29, 2021. They would improve to 17-6-3 in their last 25 series against the Orioles.

The Rays have allowed four or fewer earned runs in 11 consecutive games, their longest streak since a club-record 19-game run from Sept. 16, 2021 to April 10, 2022. Tampa Bay's pitching staff has posted an AL-best 2.79 ERA in that span, trailing only Milwaukee's 1.95 ERA. Rays pitchers have recorded 10+ strikeouts in four of five and 10 of their last 14 games.


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