The Baltimore Orioles will try to sweep their American League East rival today as they host the Tampa Bay Rays in the final match of a three-game series at Camden Yards.
Baltimore took a 5-3 win as Adam Jones drove in two runs and Bill Hall homered in his debut in a Baltimore uniform on Saturday. Brian Matusz (2-4) picked up the win. The Orioles bullpen has not given up a hit in 6 1/3 innings during the first two games of the series and closer Jim Johnson notched his 10th and 11th saves of the season. Reliever Pedro Strop has retired six straight batters in the series.
"I feel good because we found people that we can play with and we can win [with]," Strop said. "A lot of people are asking me, 'Are you surprised at this team?' We aren't surprised. We've been doing what we were hoping. A lot of people are surprised, but we're not. We are going to keep winning games."
Right-hander Jake Arrieta (2-3) takes the mound for the home team today and will try to bounce back from Tuesday's forgettable outing in which he gave up nine hits and six earned runs to the mighty Texas Rangers.
Arietta has shown this season he has what it takes to be an effective major league pitcher. He allowed only two hits in seven innings in his first start of the season versus Minnesota in which he surrendered no runs and also struck out nine.
Arrieta will have to overcome Tampa Bay's proven starter James Shields (5-1) for the Orioles to complete the sweep.
Shields had his personal five-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday, as he gave up three runs, four hits, and two home runs to the Yankees in a 5-3 loss.
"I was getting ahead of hitters early, and then they were just working the counts," Shields said of Tuesday's loss. "They had some pretty good at-bats, for the most part."
During his winning streak , Shields had a 1.98 ERA.
The Rays are desperately searching for answers as they have lost six of their last seven games. Tampa Bay will need to recuperate after a five-error performance on Saturday.
"There's that fine line between winning and losing," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Now we're doing the things that are permitting us to lose, or causing us to lose. Where we were doing things that were permitting us to win prior to this, we weren't making the same mistakes."
The Rays' manager hopes his offense can be more productive to give his pitching staff more support. With the exception of Evan Longoria, who has not played since April 30, no player on the Rays roster is batting above the .300 mark.
Baltimore is looking to win for the fourth time in five games tonight.
The Orioles split 18 meetings with Tampa Bay last season.