Preview Tampa Bay at Baltimore
(SportsNetwork.com) - There's something about Baltimore.
After a weekend series at Wrigley Field in which their bats were collectively stifled, the Orioles returned home with a literal bang on Monday night and will try to continue the explosion on Tuesday night when they host the Tampa Bay Rays in game two of a four-game set at Camden Yards.
The Orioles lost three straight to the Cubs over the weekend in which they scored just four runs and batted .143 as a team while striking out 26 times. Back in Maryland, though, every starter had at least one hit and the team scored six runs in the fifth inning alone on the way to a 9-1 laugher.
Baltimore will play 20 of its next 26 games at home, where it is 16-5 since late June.
"It's good because it seemed like y'all went in panic mode when we got swept in Chicago," said Orioles slugger Delmon Young. "We weren't scoring many runs, but it happens and then we're back in our division at home facing a guy we've seen before, a team we play, we know their tendencies and everything."
In their last six games at Camden Yards, the Orioles have averaged 8.3 runs per game.
They face a steeper challenge in Tampa Bay's Alex Cobb, however, considering that the right-hander has won seven straight decisions in his last 10 starts -- during which he's posted an earned run average below 2.00 and allowed two or fewer runs in eight straight outings.
He beat Detroit -- and ex-Ray David Price -- in his last start, throwing seven shutout innings in a 1-0 triumph on Thursday.
The first win in the streak came at Baltimore on June 29, in fact, when he was touched for four runs in five innings but emerged with a 12-7 win. In four prior starts against the Orioles, he'd been 3-1 with a 0.95 ERA.
Tampa Bay is 21-7 on the road since June 28, and remains the only team in baseball that's above .500 on the road and below .500 at home.
"We just take this one and throw it in the trash and come back tomorrow," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Lefty Wei-Yin Chen gets the call for the Orioles amid a stretch in which he's won six of seven decisions across eight starts and allowed three runs or fewer seven times.
He earned his career-best 13th win on Wednesday after allowing three runs in 7 1/3 innings of a 4-3 defeat of the Chicago White Sox.
Chen has split two decisions against the Rays this season while maintaining a 4.96 ERA. In his last three starts at home, though, he's 3-0 with a 2.84 ERA.
On Monday, Young went 3-for-3 with three RBI and teammates Nick Markakis, Steve Pearce, J.J. Hardy and Chris Davis also homered as Baltimore hammered Jake Odorizzi for eight runs in the Rays starter's four-plus innings of work. Pearce, Adam Jones and Jonathan Schoop all collected two hits in the rout, supporting seven strong innings from Chris Tillman.
Tillman (11-5) yielded just one unearned run on three hits to extend his unbeaten streak to eight straight starts.
Odorizzi (9-11) served up four of Baltimore's long balls and 11 of the Orioles' 14 hits.
The O's are 9-4 against the Rays this season.