ORIOLES (45-92) AT RAYS (81-58)
Game 1: 3:10 p.m. ET; FS-SUN, MASN2, MLB.TV
Game 2: 6:40 p.m. ET; FS-SUN, MLBN, MASN2, MLB.TV
The Tampa Bay Rays picked the right time to get on a roll.
Tampa Bay has vaulted into the top spot in the American League wild-card race with a five-game winning streak. The most recent victory came on Monday when they topped the visiting Baltimore Orioles.
Now, the Rays hope to keep the streak going when the series concludes Tuesday with a traditional doubleheader.
Originally scheduled as one game Tuesday and another Wednesday, the teams will squeeze the schedule because of concerns about approaching Hurricane Dorian. Right-hander Trevor Richards (4-12, 4.29) starts the first game for the Rays against the Orioles left-hander Ty Blach (0-2, 12.81).
Richards has pitched better with Tampa Bay since the club got him from Miami. He’s 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA in three games for the Rays and threw six shutout innings against the Orioles on Aug. 23 in his last start. He has a 1-1 career record against Baltimore and a 5.79 ERA in two starts.
Blach will make his first start since coming back from the minor leagues. In his only career outing against the Rays, which came earlier this season, he gave up seven earned runs in four innings of work.
The starters for the second game were not announced as of Monday night.
The Rays started to turn things around when they won the final game of a series at Houston last week. They continued with a sweep over the Cleveland Indians. In Monday’s game against the Orioles, Tommy Pham delivered a game-ending single in the 10th inning for a 5-4 victory.
Baltimore rallied from a 4-0 deficit to tie the game in the sixth inning before the Rays manufactured a run in the 10th. Pham, who showed displeasure over multiple pitches inside during the game, got his revenge to win the game.
“I’m more frustrated with their dugout hollering after the pitches they were throwing,” Pham said according to the Tampa Bay Times. “Kind of like they were cheering him on that he was buzzing me up and in. But success is revenge, and I got the game-winning hit for us.”
The Rays also selected the contract of right-hander Cole Sulser from Triple-A Durham, arriving to the major leagues for the first time at age 29. Tampa Bay also recalled left-hander Anthony Banda.
The Orioles got some offensive help in Monday’s loss thanks to a two-run double from Mark Trumbo, who was playing in his first game this season. He’s been out since August of 2018 due to surgery on his right knee.
Trumbo was determined to make it back to the Orioles this season. He had setbacks during his recovery, but made it back to the field with his three-year, $37.5 million deal set to run out at the end of the season.
“I’m getting paid to play,” Trumbo said, according to mlb.com. “I think that’s always weighed on me pretty heavily. It’s something that I feel like I owe … to the team to get out there and do what I can.”
Hanser Alberto continued his recent hot streak, going 2-for-5 in the loss with a home run. He is 9-for-19 in his past four games, and his average now sits at .323, along with 11 homers and 47 RBIs.
Rookie pitcher Hunter Harvey got into his sixth big-league game Monday and struck out the only batter he faced. Harvey now has 10 strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings along with a 1-0 record and a 1.69 ERA.
Manager Brandon Hyde has started using Harvey in high-leverage situations, often in the seventh or eighth innings. Harvey has a history of arm issues, though, which could limit his usage. He pitched an inning Saturday before his one batter Monday.
He might not get a chance to rest Tuesday with both bullpens likely to see heavy use in the doubleheader.
–Field Level Media