The Tampa Bay Rays hope to ride the momentum of a late uprising on Wednesday night into an early start on Thursday afternoon as they vie for a split of their four-game series against the host Baltimore Orioles.
The Rays rebounded after dropping 5-1 and 5-3 decisions to the Orioles by posting a 6-4 victory in 10 innings on Wednesday.
Randy Arozarena continued to torment Baltimore by ripping a two-run double in the 10th inning to help Tampa Bay snap a season-high-tying, four-game losing skid.
Arozarena is batting a robust .378 (51-for-135) with 13 homers, 32 RBIs and 26 runs in 33 career games against the Orioles. He is hitting .372 (29-for-78) with seven homers, 21 RBIs and 16 runs in 19 games at Camden Yards.
“I know in the past I’ve been producing really well against them, every at-bat, every game I play I try to hit the ball well,” Arozarena said via an interpreter to Bally Sports Sun.
“Randy plays well in this ballpark, and he picked us up in a big way,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said Wednesday.
Tampa Bay’s Luke Raley has also picked it up in this series, going 5-for-11 with two doubles and a homer. He had just two hits in 25 at-bats coming into the set in Baltimore.
Orioles right-hander Jordan Lyles (6-8, 4.79 ERA) will be tasked with keeping Arozarena and Raley in check. However, he has struggled mightily in both starts against the Rays this season. Lyles surrendered five runs on seven hits in five innings of a 5-3 setback on April 9 before yielding six runs on as many hits in 2 2/3 frames of a 7-5 loss on July 17.
Lyles, 31, is 0-2 with a 6.08 ERA in five career appearances (four starts) versus Tampa Bay.
Left-hander Ryan Yarbrough (0-5, 5.61 ERA) will serve as the Rays’ opener on Thursday.
Yarbrough, 30, surrendered two homers on Saturday for the third time in his last five trips to the mound. He took the loss in that outing at Kansas City (three runs, six hits allowed in four innings) after receiving a no-decision following a 5 1/3-inning performance (two runs, five hits allowed) against Baltimore on July 16.
Yarbrough is 5-2 with a 3.89 ERA in 15 career appearances (eight starts) versus the Orioles.
Trey Mancini is 11-for-29 with seven extra-base hits (four doubles, three homers) and eight RBIs against Yarbrough, however the hurler has kept Rougned Odor (0-for-9) and Cedric Mullins (3-for-17) under wraps.
Yarbrough would be wise to tread carefully around Jorge Mateo, who belted a solo homer with one out in the ninth inning to forge a 4-4 tie on Wednesday. Mateo is riding an eight-game hitting streak and has five extra-base hits (three doubles, one triple, one homer) in that stretch.
“We’re always focusing on continuing to find ways to help the team win and contribute any way we can,” Mateo said via an interpreter to MASN Sports. “Thankfully I hit that pitch hard for the home run, but unfortunately things didn’t turn out our way.”
–Field Level Media