Opposite dugout: Injury-plagued Rays dreading four-game series over weekend

rays-logo.jpgManager: Kevin Cash (2nd season)

Record: 31-39

Last 10 games: 3-7

Who to watch: 3B Evan Longoria (.273/.328/.539 with 18 HR, 43 RBIs), OF/DH Corey Dickerson (12 HR, 32 RBIs), SS Brad Miller (9 HR, 24 RBIs), RHP Matt Andriese (6-0, 2.61 ERA), RHP Alex Colome (1.76 ERA with 19 saves)

Season series vs. Orioles: 2-3

Pitching probables:

June 24: LHP Matt Moore vs. RHP Yovani Gallardo, 7:05 p.m., MASN
June 25: RHP Jake Odorizzi vs. RHP Kevin Gausman, 1:05 p.m., MASN
June 25: RHP Matt Andriese vs. RHP Chris Tillman, 7:05 p.m., MASN
June 26: LHP Drew Smyly vs. RHP Tyler Wilson, 1:35 p.m., MASN

Inside the Rays:

If you take out the one makeup game in Texas on Monday and then the two-game series against the Padres, five of the Orioles' last six series have been against American League East rivals. But the Rays weren't one of them and the O's haven't faced the team from Tampa Bay since a three-game series at The Trop in late April. They're going to see the Rays plenty this weekend.

The Birds and Rays are going to cram a four-game set into this weekend, playing a split doubleheader on Saturday to make up a rainout from the first weekend of the season. But four games in three days may be one of the last things a banged-up Rays club wants to face right now, especially while riding a seven-game losing streak. They have had to put a small group of players, particularly outfielders, on the disable list recently, which does not bode well for a last-place team heading into a long weekend. Center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (five homers, 16 RBIs) has been on the disabled list since May 22 with a fractured right hand, right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (10 homers, 25 RBIs) went down with a strained left hip last week and former Oriole Steve Pearce, who does everything for the Rays and is hitting .322 with nine longballs and 25 RBIs, was just placed on the DL on Tuesday with a strained hamstring.

Among the players left, veteran third baseman Evan Longoria is enjoying a solid season so far, slashing .273/.328/.539 with 12 home runs and 32 RBIs. Second baseman Logan Forsythe, who recently finished his own stint on the DL, is hitting .292 on the season from the leadoff spot. No one else really has an average worth mentioning, but designated hitter-turned-outfielder Corey Dickerson has hit 12 homers with 32 RBIs, shortstop Brad Miller nine home runs with 24 RBIs and first baseman Logan Morrison eight longballs with 21 RBIs.

Left-hander Matt Moore will start tonight's opener at Camden Yards for the Rays. He is 3-4 with a 4.90 ERA on the season and will be making his second start against Baltimore in 2016. Moore pitched seven innings of three-hit, three-run ball while striking out nine in a 3-1 loss to the Orioles at Tropicana Field on April 27, letting what would have been a three-game sweep escape. Jake Odorizzi is the first of a pair of right-handers to take the hill for the Rays in Saturday's doubleheader. He is 3-3 with a 3.63 ERA this season and has faced the Orioles twice already. He took the loss on April 10 in Baltimore after giving up nine hits and four runs over six innings and earned a no-decision on April 26 in Tampa after holding the Birds to just one run on seven hits in five innings of work.

Matt Andriese will take tomorrow's nightcap. He has been sort of a revelation for the Rays this season, going 6-0 with a 2.61 ERA since making his season debut on May 8 against the Angels. Although, the Rays have lost his three no-decisions and his last win came after 2 2/3 innings of relief in an extra-inning victory over the Mariners. Andriese will also look to improve on his 0-1 record and 12.00 ERA in three appearances against the O's. And finally, lefty Drew Smyly will close out the long series for the Rays on Sunday. Smyly has struggled to a 2-7 record and 4.78 ERA on the season, but is 4-0 with a 1.82 ERA in eight games (five starts) against the Orioles in his career.

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