|9:10 AM PT10:10 AM MT11:10 AM CT12:10 PM ET12:10 ET16:10 GMT0:10 9:10 AM MST11:10 AM EST11:40 AM VEN20:10 UAE10:10 AM CT, July 21, 2021
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida Attendance: 8,968
Michael Wacha, Rays eye series win vs. Orioles
Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays
- Tampa Bay has won all six meetings with Baltimore this season. The Rays have outscored the Orioles 48-21 this season and have a .321 average with 13 HR in those six games compared to Baltimore's .179 and six long balls.
- The Orioles won their last two games at Kansas City this weekend. Three is the most they have won in a row this season (four previous times). Baltimore pitched its third shutout of the season on Sunday. All three of their shutouts have been on the road (at Boston and at Seattle).
- The Rays are 24-14 against AL East teams this season which is the best in the division. They are 8-2 since July 4th. They just took two of three in Atlanta, despite being outscored 20-14 and outhit 33-20.
- Cedric Mullins went 0-for-5 on Sunday which snapped his eight-game hitting streak. He is batting .167 (3/18) against Tampa Bay this season which is his lowest versus any team this season with at least 10 at bats.
- Wander Franco had at least one hit in all three games against Atlanta (4-for-13) after going 0-for-9 in his two games leading up to the all-star break. He hit his first career triple on Friday after hitting six in 39 games with Durham (AAA) earlier this season.
- Spenser Watkins will make his fourth career appearance and third start tonight. He has allowed just two runs in 10.1 innings this season. Ryan Yarbrough is 6-3 this season after finishing 1-4 in 2020. He is 5-0 since May 5, but has a 4.00 ERA in that time period.
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- Neck surgery ends Strasburg's season
- Astros acquire P Graveman from Mariners
- Nats win after Turner leaves for COVID
- Tatis' monster HR helps Padres top A's
While the Tampa Bay Rays maintain their high expectations for this season, the Baltimore Orioles are hoping some second-half success will bode well for the future.
The Rays will look to win back-to-back contests for the first time since the All-Star break when they play the rubber match of a three-game series against the Orioles on Wednesday at St. Petersburg, Fla.
Tampa Bay has alternated losses and wins for six games since winning six straight from July 4-10. The Rays bounced back from a 6-1 series-opening loss to Baltimore on Monday, rolling to a 9-3 victory on Tuesday.
Backup catcher Francisco Mejia homered and had a career-high five RBIs while Randy Arozarena also homered and posted his second straight two-hit game after going 4-for-41 in his previous 13 contests. Tampa Bay overcame a season-high four errors Tuesday by scoring four times in the eighth inning to break open what was a 5-3 contest.
"For us, we've got to continue doing our thing," Tampa Bay's Austin Meadows told MLB Network. "When we're clicking on all cylinders, we're a tough team to beat."
Michael Wacha (2-2, 5.14 ERA) is slated to take the ball for the Rays on Wednesday. The right-hander allowed four runs -- three off two homers -- and five hits over four innings in a no-decision at Atlanta on Friday.
Wacha has allowed one run and five hits while striking out 13 over 11 innings while going 1-0 in his past two home starts.
Against the visiting Orioles on June 13, Wacha yielded a run over a two-inning start.
Baltimore's Cedric Mullins is 2-for-3 with a double and a triple off Wacha. Anthony Santander is hitless in three at-bats vs. Wacha, but with two doubles on Tuesday, he is 4-for-13 in his past four contests.
The Orioles totaled 19 runs during a three-game winning streak that ended Tuesday, when they struck out 15 times and went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Despite losing to the Rays for the 13th time in 15 meetings, Baltimore is on the rise since the All-Star break, boosting the club's collective confidence.
"The second half of the season is huge, especially going into next year," Baltimore's Trey Mancini told MLB Network. "It's time for us to start putting wins together."
Scheduled Baltimore starter Keegan Akin (0-5, 8.19 ERA) has allowed 36 runs, 47 hits and 16 walks over 28 1/3 innings over his past seven outings, six of them starts. He yielded six runs and eight hits in just three innings during a 9-2 loss at Kansas City on Friday.
"I got some things to work on," Akin said. "Just execute pitches better. I feel like the strikes are there, just got to execute and command the ball a little better."
Akin's current rough stretch began at Tampa Bay on June 11, when he allowed a two-run homer to Brandon Lowe, one other run and walked three over four innings of a 4-2 defeat. He also gave up two runs and five hits in three innings of relief during the Orioles' 10-1 loss to the Rays on May 20, although he wasn't involved in the decision.
Arozarena is 2-for-3 against Akin.
--Field Level Media
Updated July 21, 2021