Right-hander Ryne Stanek (0-1, 2.64 ERA) will be the starting pitcher against the Orioles for the second time in three games tonight. He was the opener for the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday and will be again tonight when the clubs conclude a three-game series.
The Rays have posted back-to-back 6-3 wins over the Orioles. Last night the Rays scored two runs in the sixth and seventh to turn a 2-1 lead into a 6-1 margin. Chance Sisco’s two-run homer in the ninth accounted for the final score.
Stanek threw two scoreless frames to start the game for Tampa Bay in their win Monday. He allowed one hit with one walk and a strikeout on 34 pitches. He has a WHIP of 1.133, allowing 0.6 homers per nine with 3.6 walks and 9.6 strikeouts.
The Rays are 16-8 when Stanek is the opener and he leads the majors with 24 starts. Since May 22, Stanek has pitched to a 1.93 ERA and .212 average against. Over 23 1/3 innings he has walked 11 and fanned 26.
Chris Davis hit a solo homer to left to provide the Orioles’ first run last night. It was his first homer since May 12, ending a run of 86 homerless at-bats. In the 26 games between Davis’ homers he hit .145/.211/.169 with just one RBI.
Sisco’s bat has been hot. Over his past five games he’s batting .350 (7-for-20) with three homers and 11 RBIs. In 16 games since joining the Orioles, Sisco is batting .265/.379/.673 with five doubles, five homers, 16 RBIs and with an OPS of 1.053.
The Orioles (24-61) scored 26 runs in back-to-back games Friday and Saturday versus Cleveland with eight doubles, six homers and going 14-for-26 with runners in scoring position. In the past three games the Orioles have scored six runs total on 20 hits, going 3-for-15 with RISP.
The Rays (50-36) are leading the American League wild card race for the No. 1 spot by three games over Cleveland and Oakland, by 3 1/2 over Texas and by 4 1/2 games over Boston. Tampa is in second in the AL East, 5 1/2 games behind New York.
The Rays have won five of six overall and are 5-2 versus the Orioles this season. They are 23-8 when playing teams with records under the .500 mark.
Left-hander John Means (7-4, 2.50 ERA) starts for the Orioles. Means is 9 1/3 innings shy of qualifying for the AL leaders. If he did qualify, his ERA would rank second in the league to Charlie Morton at 2.36, who beat the Orioles last night.
Means returned off the injured list Friday and threw five scoreless on one hit and 84 pitches against Cleveland. Over his past five starts he’s allowed two earned runs or fewer each time. In that span he is 2-0 with an ERA of 1.67. Over 27 innings he’s allowed 19 hits with seven walks and 26 strikeouts and a slash line against of .196/.257/.278.
Means has allowed a .174 average and .578 OPS when facing lefty batters and .234/.678 against right-handed hitters. The Orioles are 5-8 in his 13 starts. In seven road games (five starts) he is 2-3 with a 3.73 ERA.