Thursday preview: O's at Tampa

Game Preview Orioles (48-72) at Tampa Bay (65-54) The Orioles have yet to win a series since the All-Star break. They won't win this one either as they have lost the first two games of a three-game set at Tampa Bay. Tonight, the clubs meet at 7:08 p.m. as the Orioles look to get one win in this series. Lefty Brian Matusz (1-2, 6.75) will pitch vs. the Rays James Shields (7-9, 3.88). The Orioles have lost 5-4 and 3-1 games in this series. Tampa hit three solo homers Wednesday night to hand Chris Tillman his first Major League loss. Brian Roberts' solo homer in the 8th provided the only Orioles' run. Roberts now has a nine-game batting streak and is hitting .381 (16 for 42) during the streak with two homers, eight doubles and 6 RBI. Roberts has 18 doubles over the last 31 games and 46 on the year to lead the American League. The O's are 8-24 since the All-Star break and have lost nine and tied one series since then. O's pitching has allowed six homers in this series, 12 over the last four games and 37 over the last 22 contests. The O's have given up 33ER over the last four games and the team ERA is 6.43 the past 10 games. The O's have lost five in a row, one off the season high. They lost six straight from April 27 - May 3. Nick Markakis went 0 for 4 Wednesday, snapping an 11-game hitting streak. Still, over his last eight games, Markakis is batting .417 (15 for 36) with six multi-hit contests. His streak of reaching base in 38 straight games, the longest active streak in the Majors, also ended in last night's game. Tampa Bay is in third place in the AL East, 10 games behind the Yankees. The Rays are 3rd in the wild-card race, three games back of Boston and two behind Texas. Tampa has won four in a row and is 17-13 in the second half. Since May 29, the Rays are 42-26. The Rays lead the season series, 5-4 vs. the Orioles and are 3-1 at home vs. Baltimore. The Orioles lead the all-time series, 100-95 vs. Tampa.

Post-game Notes: Tillman takes first ML loss
Tonight's pitchers: Matusz vs. Shields

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