Bedard (14-9, 3.76 ERA) is 9-3 with a 2.91 ERA at home this year, but 5-6 with a 4.96 ERA on the road. The left-hander won his last two starts—both at home—allowing a combined two runs and six hits in 13 innings. He threw seven innings in a 4-0 win over Boston on Wednesday.
“I’m more mature and more consistent with the strike zone,” said Bedard, who won just six games in each of his last two seasons. “Before, if I got behind, I was afraid to go after it. I was nitpicking too much. Now I just throw it and let them hit it.”
Bedard is 6-3 with a 3.25 ERA in 14 appearances—13 starts—against the Rays. He’s 3-1 with a 3.41 ERA in five starts against them this season, and last faced them Aug. 26 at home, when he allowed two runs and 11 hits in seven innings of Baltimore’s 3-2 win. He did not receive a decision.
Bedard is looking to lead the Orioles (64-85) to back-to-back victories for the first time since that series against Tampa Bay (57-92). After sweeping the Devil Rays from Aug. 25-27, Baltimore went on to lose 14 of its next 18 games before a 12-8 victory over Detroit on Sunday.
The Orioles blew two leads, including one in the eighth, before Miguel Tejada sparked a four-run 10th inning to help them avoid the sweep.
“That was a real battle,” Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said. “I give each club credit. They both went out there and fought like they were in a pennant race.
“Our guys just kept battling away. They just kept going. I’ve been saying that all along. I’m proud of them.”
Tampa Bay will send Tim Corcoran (4-8, 3.76), winless in his last 11 starts, to the mound Monday. The right-hander lasted just one-third of an inning against the New York Yankees on Tuesday, giving up seven runs in a 12-4 loss.
“I didn’t even give myself a chance to get anything going. It just snowballed,” Corcoran said.
Corcoran is 0-0 with a 4.35 ERA in three appearances—two starts—against the Orioles. He didn’t last past the fifth inning in either start.
The Rays lost 5-3 to Toronto on Sunday, tying their season high with their seventh straight defeat. They are 19-56 on the road this season, including 2-28 since July 1.
“We’re like two different teams. We’re so Jekyll and Hyde it’s incredible,” manager Joe Maddon said. “That’s going to be food for offseason thought, to try and prevent that next year.”
Rookie right fielder Delmon Young was 2-for-4 with a solo home run Sunday. He has an 11-game hitting streak and is batting .400 (30-for-75) since being called up from the minors Aug. 29.