News Forum Blogs Roster Players Schedule Depth chart Stats Videos Photos

Tampa Bay Rays News

News » Orioles-Rays Preview 2009-05-05

Orioles-Rays Preview 2009-05-05

Orioles-Rays Preview 2009-05-05
In his last start, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matt Garza took a perfect game into the seventh inning.

While it's a long shot he'll have similar results in his next outing, the Rays nonetheless can expect a strong performance if his history against the Baltimore Orioles is any indication.

Garza looks to continue his dominance of the Orioles as the AL East rivals finish a two-game series Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.

After giving up 11 runs in 11 1-3 innings while losing his previous two starts, Garza (2-2, 3.82 ERA) got back on track as Tampa Bay (11-16) beat Boston 13-0 on Thursday night. He was perfect before Jacoby Ellsbury's infield single in the seventh and finished with a season-high 10 strikeouts in 7 2-3 innings while lowering his ERA more than a point from 4.97.

"Everything was really in sync for him," manager Joe Maddon said. "It was fun to watch."

Maddon probably doesn't expect another near-perfect performance from the right-hander, but he can likely count on at least a strong outing. Garza is 5-0 with a 2.80 ERA in six career starts against the Orioles, who are batting .218 against him.

Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis and second baseman Brian Roberts - batting .370 and .315, respectively, this season - are each 3-for-17 (.176) lifetime against Garza. Third baseman Melvin Mora is 1-for-15 (.067) against him.

Markakis and Roberts didn't have any problems with Tampa Bay pitching in the series opener Monday night. Markakis hit a three-run homer and Roberts added a two-run shot to help the Orioles (10-16) stop a six-game losing streak with an 8-4 victory.

Baltimore is 4-14 since it last won consecutive games April 13 and 14 at Texas.

"It's been rough, but it's a long season," Markakis said.

Roberts had gone 3-for-26 during Baltimore's six-game skid before delivering two hits and scoring three times against Tampa Bay.

"I hit the ball hard, had some at-bats that weren't great, but I wasn't all that concerned abut it," he said of the slump. "It felt good to contribute because I felt like I hadn't in a while."

The Rays were held to six hits Monday and went 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position.

"I saw a lot of good stuff, actually," Maddon said. "They just beat us. We didn't get a hit when we needed it."

The Rays have dropped three of four against the Orioles this season after going 15-3 against them - including 8-1 at home - in 2008.

The Orioles will try to continue their success against the Rays behind Japanese rookie Koji Uehara (2-2, 4.50). The right-hander left his last start Wednesday after being hit in the chest by a line drive in the seventh inning. X-rays were negative and the injury was diagnosed as a bruised sternum.

Despite delivering his third consecutive quality start in that game, Uehara suffered the 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

"No pain," Uehara said through an interpreter after the game. "I'm more upset about giving up that home run (earlier in the seventh)."

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: May 5, 2009

Tampa Bay Rays Photos
All the latest Tampa Bay Rays Photos Store photographs. Major League Baseball MLB.
The most recent photo
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Windows Live

Copyright ©, Inc. All rights reserved 2008.