O's game blog: The series opener with Tampa Bay

The Orioles homestand continues tonight as they host the Tampa Bay Rays to begin a four-game series at Oriole Park. It continues a 10-game stretch with three series against two of the top American League East clubs. Before the All-Star break they lost two of three against the Rays, and coming out of the break they lost two of three to the Yankees with Sunday’s 6-0 loss.

The Orioles (47-48) could get back to .500 with a win tonight. They are 3 ½ games back of the final AL playoff spot. The Orioles have lost four of six, but over longer stretches have won 12 of 16, 17 of 26 and 23 of their past 36 games. 

After going just 1-18 against Tampa Bay in 2021, the Orioles are 5-7 this year. They have gone 1-5 at the Trop but 4-2 at home, winning both series in Baltimore from May 20-22 and June 17-19. The Orioles are 17-23 for the year versus the AL East.

The Orioles are 4-5 in their past nine games against Tampa Bay after going 3-27 in the previous 30. 

Tampa Bay (52-43) is now in third place in the division, ½ a game behind Toronto. They currently hold the No. 2 AL wild card spot. The Rays went into the All-Star break winning six of seven games. That included going 2-1 in the final series at home against the Orioles. But they lost two of three to Kansas City to begin the second half, losing their last two games 6-3 and 4-2, respectively. 

The Rays are 21-25 on the road after going an AL-best 48-33 last year. The Rays are 2-7-1 their past 10 road series. They are 23-17 against AL East opponents,  but 11-2 in their past 13 division games.

O’s right-hander Austin Voth (1-1, 6.38 ERA) will make his 29th appearance of the season tonight and his 10th as an Oriole. He posted an ERA of 10.13 in 19 games with Washington, but he is 1-1 with a 3.42 ERA over nine games and five starts with the Orioles. He’s given up nine earned runs over 23 2/3 innings with a WHIP of 1.225.

Between the two teams for the season he has thrown 42 1/3 innings, allowing 56 hits and six homers with 13 walks, 41 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.630.

Right-hander Corey Kluber (6-5, 3.73 ERA) will start for Tampa Bay. His last start was before the break, when he yielded four runs in six innings against the Orioles on July 17. In four starts this season against Baltimore he is 1-1 with a 3.66 ERA and 1.424 WHIP.

The Orioles have gone 12-6 in July and need one more win to clinch their second consecutive winning month after they went 14-12 in June. Prior to last month, the O's had not had a winning month since August 2017 (17-12), and the last time Baltimore had a winning record in back-to-back months was May (14-13) and June (19-9) 2016.

The Orioles have a 26-19 (.578) record at Oriole Park this year, the fifth-best home winning percentage in the AL and ninth-best in MLB. The Orioles need just one more home win to match their total from 2021, when they went 27-54 (.333) at Oriole Park, the worst home winning percentage in MLB. The Orioles have gone 9-2 in their last 11 games at Oriole Park, and 6-4 in their last 10 home games against AL East opponents.





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