BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles will get a boost when third baseman Manny Machado returns to the lineup for the beginning of a four-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday at Camden Yards.
Machado was suspended the previous four games for charging the mound and punching Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura on June 7. The Orioles went 2-2 without Machado in the lineup.
The series with the Rays includes a doubleheader Saturday and Baltimore manager Buck Showalter is already making plans for a roster move.
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"We get to add a pitcher for both games of the doubleheader on Saturday, so we got through this four-game stretch without Manny," Showalter said after a 7-3 victory over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday.
On Friday, Yovani Gallardo will make his second start for Baltimore since coming off the disabled list on June 18 from right shoulder biceps tendinitis. In his previous outing, Gallardo (2-1, 6.26 ERA) allowed two runs, five hits and five strikeouts in five innings of a 4-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Rays will counter with left-hander Matt Moore (3-4, 4.90), who has given up nine homers in his past seven starts. That does not bode well for Moore against the powerful Baltimore lineup, which has hit 42 home runs in the past 20 games.
Tampa Bay has lost seven straight and have matched a season worst by falling eight games below .500 (31-39). Manager Kevin Cash is hoping the off-day Thursday will help him and his players regain a positive mindset.
"It's definitely frustrating," Cash told reporters after the 6-1 loss to Cleveland on Wednesday. "We've got a couple frustrating things going on right now. I don't think it's a mystery at all. We kind of see what's taking place.
"When you're falling behind and we're facing big-league hitters, they take advantage when they have the count in their favor. And they're not missing very hittable pitches."
Baltimore also enjoyed a rare off-day on Thursday after playing 29 games in 30 days. Despite the tough stretch, the Orioles sit atop the American League East.
Mark Trumbo broke out from an 8-for-46 slump with three hits, including his 21st homer, against the Padres on Wednesday. It was his first home run since June 7, but he is still tied for the AL lead with Todd Frazier of the Chicago White Sox.
"It's fun to watch him hit a line drive," Showalter said about Trumbo. "You talk about hanging laundry on that line. You can do a whole month's worth of laundry. Some of the same pitches he was missing, he squared up tonight. That was good."
Baltimore second baseman Jonathan Schoop also enters the series on a roll. Showalter moved Schoop into the third spot in the lineup for the first time Wednesday and he responded by going 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
Schoop has hit safely in 17 of his 21 games in June, batting .320 with seven doubles, four home runs, 16 runs and 14 RBIs during that stretch.
"I want to help this team win," Schoop said. "If it's the bottom of the lineup, top of the lineup, wherever they put me I will compete and I will do everything I can possibly to do help us win."
However, Machado will provide both a physical and emotional boost to the lineup. He is batting .317 with 17 homers and 42 RBIs. Machado leads all AL third baseman in the All-Star voting.