Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Baltimore1 1 0 0 1 4 1 1 1 10191
Tampa Bay0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 350
  W: A. Voth (3-1)   L: C. Kluber (7-7)
4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)5:10 PM CT, August 12, 2022
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida  Attendance: 12,380

Orioles, Rays begin series steeped in AL wild-card chase

According to STATS
According to STATS

Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays

  1. Despite losing Thursday's one-game series in Boston, the Orioles have the best winning percentage in the American League since July 3 (.719, 23-9). Baltimore relievers rank third in the majors with a 3.10 ERA and have a 1.61 ERA in 16 games against Tampa Bay this season.
  2. Austin Voth has a 3.19 ERA in eight starts this season and an 8.51 ERA in 23 relief appearances. He has a 1.13 ERA in three games, including two starts, against Tampa Bay this year and his 1.29 career ERA against the Rays is his lowest against any AL opponent he's faced more than once.
  3. Adley Rutschman is hitting .349 in his last 20 games with a .506 on-base percentage that ranks second in the majors behind Aaron Judge since July 16. He has a .300/.421/.500 slash line with a homer and four RBI in 10 games against Tampa Bay this season.
  4. Tampa Bay has won just one of six series (1-4-1) since the All-Star break and that was against last-place Detroit. While they've split 16 games with the Orioles this season, the Rays have won 34 of the last 41 meetings (.829) at Tropicana Field.
  5. Corey Kluber has a 6.55 ERA in his last two starts against the Orioles after compiling a 2.63 ERA in his first three starts against them this season. He's trying to go three straight starts without issuing a walk for the first time since a career-best six-game streak from May 13-June 20, 2018.
  6. Randy Arozarena went 7-for-21 (.333) with a homer and five RBI on the Rays' five-game road trip after going 2-for-17 (.118) with seven strikeouts on their most recent five-game homestand. He has a .372/.416/.701 career slash line against Baltimore and more homers (13) and RBI (32) against the Orioles than any opponent.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 8/12/2022 thru 8/14/2022

If you think mid-August is too early to talk about the major league postseason picture, you might want to think again.

When the surging Baltimore Orioles face the slumping Tampa Bay Rays for the first meeting of a three-game series at St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday night, it will amount to essentially a playoff series.

After all, the Orioles and Rays currently are in a tight battle for the American League's final wild-card spot, with a few teams right behind them.

The Rays have lost three of their last four games, most recently falling 4-3 in 10 innings at Milwaukee on Wednesday.

The Orioles, on the other hand, have some momentum on their side. Despite a 4-3 loss to Boston on Thursday night, Baltimore is 37-23 since the start of June. The Orioles are also 7-2 since the start of August.

The Rays keep pointing to the end of August or early September for the return of two offensive leaders, Wander Franco and Harold Ramirez.

Franco (wrist) and Ramirez (thumb) were injured in mid-July. The first positive news on either of them came from Rays manager Kevin Cash on Wednesday.

"Wander and Harold might be taking (batting practice) with us on the field Friday just to see where they're at," Cash said.

Even if Franco and Ramirez hit well, Cash said they will need to play in four or five rehab games before playing in the big leagues.

The Orioles also heard some good news on the injury front. Pitcher Grayson Rodriguez, one of the organization's top prospects, is expected to throw off the Monday on Friday as he recovers from a lat strain.

It's likely that Rodriguez will return in a minor league setting -- at first -- but the Orioles aren't ruling out the possibility of Rodriguez pitching in the big leagues this year.

"He feels really good," Baltimore general manager Mike Elias said. "I still do not have a timetable, but I would probably increase our desire to get him onto a game mound before the year is over than at the initial time that I made the announcement his injury happened. We're hoping for that."

With Tampa Bay trying to hold on until offensive help is ready, the Rays will catch a break in this series. Their top three pitchers -- Corey Kluber, Shane McClanahan and Drew Rasmussen -- will get starts against Baltimore.

"I think every team's goal in spring training is to have these games mean something when it comes down to the end," said Kluber, a two-time Cy Young Award winner who will start Friday night. "So, to be in that position, it's something we'll embrace and go out there and play our best baseball toward the end."

Unlike Tampa Bay, the Orioles haven't struggled offensively. That's in large part because second baseman Rougned Odor has been providing more than enough. His two-run homer on Tuesday night provided the difference in a 6-5 win against visiting Toronto.

"Roogie has come up with some big hits for us, and I love the attitude he brings," Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. "I feel like he brings some toughness to us. I think he brings some edge. I love what he's like in the dugout and attitude-wise, and he comes ready to play. I think it's rubbed off on others this year."

--Field Level Media

Updated August 11, 2022