(SportsNetwork.com) - Given the emotional week they have gone through, the Baltimore Orioles have to be pretty happy with having a chance at a series victory on Sunday.
Wei-Yin Chen will try to pitch the O's to that win on Sunday afternoon in the finale of a three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Orioles had a pair of games postponed at home earlier this week after protests and riots in the city of Baltimore broke out stemming from the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. Six officers were recently charged in the incident.
After playing a game on Wednesday against the Chicago White Sox in an empty Camden Yards, the Orioles moved their series with the Rays to St. Petersburg, though they remained the designated home team despite playing at Tropicana Field.
Baltimore was shut out in Friday's opener, but rebounded yesterday with a 4-0 win. Miguel Gonzalez fanned six batters over 7 2/3 scoreless innings, Caleb Joseph hit a solo homer and Steve Pearce added a two-run double in the Orioles' fourth victory in five games.
"We play better against better pitching. I really believe that," said Pearce. "We step up to the challenge."
Rays starter Chris Archer (3-3) gave up four runs in six innings -- the first earned runs he allowed since an Opening Day loss to Baltimore. The righty had gone a franchise-record four starts without allowing an earned run and saw his earned run average lift from 0.84 to 1.64.
"He looked human tonight," said Rays manager Kevin Cash. "I still thought he threw the ball well. You could tell he was battling his command. It's just one of those situations where the guy throwing against us was tough. Really tough."
Tampa Bay had a two-game winning streak snapped and look to rebound today against Chen, who has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his four starts but comes in 0-1 with a 2.78 ERA.
Chen lost in Boston on April 20, charged with five unearned runs over 4 1/3 innings. He rebounded five days later at home against the Red Sox, scattering two runs over eight innings of a no-decision.
The southpaw did not factor into a 6-5 victory over hosting Tampa Bay on April 7, giving up three runs on four hits and two walks over 4 1/3 frames.
Rays starter Nathan Karns took the loss against Chen and the Orioles in that earlier meeting, with the right-hander hammered for six runs on five hits and four walks over 5 2/3 innings. Four of those runs were scored in the opening frame and Pearce hit a two-run shot off Karns in the second in what was the hurler's second career meeting with the O's.
Karns seeks a better effort today having gone without a decision over his past three starts. He is 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA on the year.
Karns' lone victory came on April 12 in Miami as he allowed two runs -- one earned -- over a season-high seven innings. He has yielded eight runs over 15 2/3 innings over his three no-decisions, one of those coming in 4 2/3 frames on Monday versus the New York Yankees.
The Orioles won two of three at Tropicana Field from April 6-8 and have taken seven of the past 12 meetings overall.