On to Tampa…
The Orioles are 8-2 under Buck Showalter with Thursday’s series finale loss and have a shot to make this six-game road trip their first winning road trip this season. To do that, they have to go through Tampa Bay, who is fighting to keep the Red Sox at bay in the American League East and historically have dominated in the home confines of Tropicana Field.
“We need to take better advantage of our at-bats,” Showalter said following rookie Jeanmar Gomez’s six innings of one-run ball on Thursday. “But obviously, we’ll go against a good baseball team that’s the right in the thick of it [in the Rays]. It will be a pretty good barometer for us.”
The Orioles do dodge a bullet of sorts given that the Rays pushed back All-Star David Price to Monday (he was originally scheduled to start Saturday) and will get Andy Sonnanstine against Brian Matusz instead. Price goes Monday, so the O’s avoid that tough lefty entirely.
Here’s how the matchups shake out:
FRIDAY: Jeremy Guthrie vs James Shields
SATURDAY: Brian Matusz vs. Andy Sonnanstine
SUNDAY: Jake Arrieta vs. Jeremy Hellickson
Sidenote: It’s some kind of throwback night at the Trop so look for the Orioles to be sporting some vintage all-orange jerseys.