Rays-Orioles Preview

The Baltimore Orioles are happy to be home.

Chris Davis is probably happy to be seeing the Tampa Bay Rays


Davis turned in a dominant season-opening series against Tampa

Bay and will look to help the Orioles hand the Rays a season-high

fourth straight defeat Tuesday night.

Only Colorado has played as few home games this season as

Baltimore (6-6), which lost two of three to Minnesota at Camden

Yards from April 5-7. The Orioles, who began 2013 by winning two of

three in Tampa Bay, immediately left after the Twins series and

split six games against Boston and the Yankees.

“We’ve been on a two-month-plus road trip, it looks like,” said

manager Buck Showalter after Sunday’s 3-0 loss. “So, after Tampa,

Boston and New York, we’re looking forward to seeing some friendly


Davis went homerless for the first time in a series over the

weekend, going 3 for 11 with six strikeouts as the Orioles lost two

of three to the Yankees.

“It feels as if we haven’t been home since last year,” Davis

said. “We had a brief three days there and it was kind of chaotic,

so it will be nice to be home and sleep in our own beds.”

The Orioles slugger is no doubt looking forward to the opener of

this three-game set with Tampa Bay (4-8). Davis went 7 for 11 with

three homers and 11 RBIs in the season-opening series.

One of the pitchers he went deep against was Roberto Hernandez

(0-2, 6.08 ERA), who has dropped all five starts over the last two


The right-hander has lasted 6 2-3 innings in both 2013 outings,

allowing four runs in a 6-3 loss to Baltimore on April 4 and six in

last Tuesday’s 6-1 defeat at Texas.

Hernandez is 1-3 with an 8.46 ERA in four starts at Camden


Adam Jones went 3 for 3 against Hernandez earlier this month,

and the Baltimore center fielder was 7 for 14 with five runs scored

in that series.

Matt Wieters was 4 for 10 with a homer in the first three games,

but he’s in a 2-for-26 slump.

Slumps have been the norm for Tampa Bay hitters. The Rays scored

three runs and went 1 for 20 with runners in scoring position while

being swept in a three-game set at Boston capped by Monday’s 3-2


“The bottom line is whenever you’re not scoring everything else

becomes magnified or exaggerated,” manager Joe Maddon said. “We’re

just not swinging bats well right now. We’ve just got to remain

positive and confident.”

Evan Longoria went 5 for 12 in the season-opening series, but

he’s in a 2-for-16 slide. The Red Sox pitched carefully to Tampa

Bay’s best hitter, Ben Zobrist, who went 1 for 8 with four walks in

three games.

The Rays will get their first 2013 look at Jake Arrieta (0-0,

7.20), who is 2-3 with a 5.79 ERA in six starts against them. Yunel

Escobar, batting .098 this year, is 7 for 16 with a homer against

the Orioles right-hander.

Arrieta yielded three runs over five innings Wednesday in an 8-5

win at Boston.