Os/Rays series opener

Greetings from St. Petersburg, one of my favorite road cities on the Orioles’ schedule.

*The Orioles rotation for this series LHP Zach Britton followed by Alfredo Simon and Jeremy Guthrie. Brian Matusz has been skipped and his next start is up in the air. He’s not hurt, but he continues to struggle in his return from the disabled list and a long spell in Triple-A. As I type this, Matusz is throwing a bullpen session at Tropicana Field.

The struggling lefty will not start this series and manager Buck Showalter didn’t rule out him starting in the upcoming Yankees series which starts Monday.

*The Orioles Player Development Department has named Class-A Frederick infielder Jonathan Schoop Player of the Month for August. Schoop hit .336 with eight doubles, a triple, four homers and 21 RBIs in 28 games.

LHP Jacob Pettit was named Pitcher of the Month after going 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in five starts for the Keys. He allowed just eight  earned runs over 28 innings over that stretch.

*The Rays are coming off a brutal  loss in Texas and didn’t arrive back in Florida until about 4 a.m. this morning, so the team isn’t expected to arrive until 5 p.m. The Orioles have a nice contingent out on early on the field going through early BP and some fielding drills.

*Right-hander Tommy Hunter, who was hospitalized after his start Thursday due to illness, joined the team in St. Petersburg on Friday afternoon, but was told to stay back  at the team hotel…

*First baseman Chris Davis (right shoulder strain) will be sent out for a rehab assignment Sunday, and will play at least one rehab game. Davis could possibly join the team at some point in New York.

*Reliever Pedro Strop, acquired as the player to be named from the Texas Rangers in the Michael Gonzalez deal, has joined the Orioles and will be available to pitch Friday.

*Lefty starter Jo-Jo Reyes left the team to be with his wife, who went into labor several days before she was scheduled to be induced. Showalter wasn’t sure when Reyes would be back.

ORIOLES LINEUP

J.J. Hardy SS
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Vladimir Guerrero DH
Matt Wieters C
Mark Reynolds 1B
Robert Andino 3B
Nolan Reimold LF
Ryan Adams 2B

Zach Britton LHP

RAYS LINEUP

Desmond Jennings LF
Johnny Damon DH
Evan Longoria 3B
Ben Zobrist 2B
B.J. Upton CF
Sean Rodriguez SS
Casey Kotchman 1B
Jose Lobaton C
Brandon Guyer RF

David Price RHP

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