Series Preview: Orioles to play four games in three days against Rays

BALTIMORE — For just the second time this season (first time since Apr. 5-6 at NYY), the Baltimore Orioles won two consecutive games in their 2-1 series win over the Kansas City Royals. Despite terrible outings by Dylan Bundy and Chris Tillman, the Orioles’ offense finally came alive, scoring at least five runs in each game versus Kansas City.

Thursday’s 11-6 win over the Royals was especially encouraging. The O’s fought back from 4-0 and 6-3 deficits behind the bats of Adam Jones, Trey Mancini, Manny Machado, and Chance Sisco. For the second time in as many starts, Tillman failed to make it out of the second inning. However, the Orioles’ bullpen, highlighted by Miguel Castro‘s 4.2 innings of shutout baseball (4 H, 2 BB, 1K) did not allow Kansas City to plate another run over the final 7.2 innings. Although Tillman’s future remains a large concern, Thursday night was a good sign for this struggling Orioles team.

Leaving Thursday night with a 10-27 overall record, the Chicago White Sox (9-25) are now the only team in the Major Leagues without double-digit victories.

Now that the Royals have left Baltimore, the Orioles turn their attention to the Tampa Bay Rays, who are already making their second trip to Camden Yards this season. Following a rainout on Apr. 24, the Rays swept the O’s 8-4 and 9-5 on Apr. 25-26. This weekend’s series was originally supposed to be three games, but the Apr. 24 rainout created a Saturday doubleheader. For those who plan on attending, the 3:05 pm doubleheader is single-admission.

The Rays (15-19) had an off-day on Thursday after getting swept by the Braves 1-0 and 5-2 at Tropicana Field. Tampa sits in fourth place in the American League East Division, with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees tied for first place at 26-11.

Bundy breakdown? Through his first five starts this season (5 ER, 40 strikeouts), Bundy looked like the ace that the Orioles have not had in their rotation for over a decade. In his last three starts, Bundy has not gone longer than 4.2 innings, allowing a combined 19 earned runs (23 H, 5 BB, 8 K). As a pitcher who’s gone underwent Tommy John surgery, it’s only natural to wonder if his arm is hurting. Buck Showalter and Bundy have not revealed anything, but it’s something to keep an eye on.

Pedro update: Designated hitter/infielder Pedro Alvarezleft Thursday night’s game with a spasm/cramp in his hamstring. No update has been provided, but it does not appear to be a serious injury.

Game times and pitching matchups:

Game 1Friday, May 11, 7:05 pm – Jake Faria (3-1, 4.15 ERA) vs. Kevin Gausman (2-2, 3.30 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Game 2Saturday, May 12, 3:05 pm – Chris Archer (2-2, 5.32 ERA) vs. TBD – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Game 3Saturday, May 12, following game 1: TBD vs. Alex Cobb (0-4, 7.61 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Game 4Sunday, May 13, 1:05 pm – Blake Snell (4-2, 2.40 ERA) vs. Dylan Bundy (1-5, 5.31 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Image Credit: Boston Herald 

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