The O’s couldn’t carry over the momentum they gained from their four-game sweep of the Rangers just before the All-Star break. They are fresh off a three-game losing streak to the Jays that featured two games in which they had a chance to win and one where they got completely blown out. This is tough on a team that thought they might have something to look forward to in the second half of the season. A three-game sweep at home wasn’t quite what they were looking for, though. The Rays are coming off a series loss to the Yankees in New York, but it wasn’t because of their lack of run production. The Rays scored 19 runs in three games, but couldn’t keep the Yankees off the scoreboard. They are currently three games behind the Yankees for first-place in the AL East with a 55-36 record.

Monday, July 19, 7:05pm
Rays – Wade Davis (6-9, 4.69 ERA)
Orioles – Chris Tillman (1-3, 5.64 ERA)

The Rays’ right-handed rookie has shown some promise this season, but has looked like a first-year starting pitcher at times as well. In his last start before the All-Star break, Davis picked up his sixth win of the season against the Indians by going seven strong innings while allowing just two earned runs and four hits. The last time Davis faced the O’s was on Sept. 17 where he pitched a four-hit shutout. Tillman’s most recent outing was one of the best of his young career. He held the hot-hitting Rangers to just two hits over 7 1/3 scoreless innings while striking out three and surrendering just one walk. He has a career 2.84 ERA against the Rays in 12 2/3 innings pitched.

Tuesday, July 20, 7:05pm
Rays – Matt Garza (10-5, 4.05 ERA)
Orioles – Jake Arrieta (3-2, 4.38 ERA)

The Rays send one of their best starters to the mound in the second game of the three-game set. Garza has 10 wins already this season and looked like an ace in his last start. He held the Indians to no runs and just one hit over six innings of work. The bad news for the O’s, besides Garza being one of the best young pitchers in the game, is that he is 8-1 with a 2.48 ERA in his career against the them. Arrieta is the only O’s starting pitcher with a winning record and has been one of the few bright spots for the team this season. He has given up just one run in each of his last two starts, but will surely be tested when he faces the hot bats of the Rays.

Wednesday, July 21, 12:35pm
Rays – James Shields (7-9, 4.86 ERA)
Orioles – Brad Bergesen (3-7, 6.37 ERA)

Shields had a horrible month of June, winning only one of his six starts. He is 1-1 so far in July and received a no-decision in his last start against the Yankees where in six innings of work he allowed three runs on four hits, two of which were home runs. Shields has also had success against the O’s and his 6-2 with a 3.01 ERA in 16 careers starts. He has dominated at Camden Yards as well and boasts a 3-0 record and 2.70 ERA. Bergesen didn’t fare so well in his last outing, allowing the leadoff batter to reach in each of the first four innings. It seemed as if he just couldn’t get into any type of rhythm and struggled to get through six innings while allowing four runs on nine hits. Bergesen is 0-2 with a gaudy 9.35 ERA in his career against the Rays.

Submitted by Steve Giles