The Orioles’ right-hander looks to remain undefeated against Tampa Bay and lead his squad to a three-game sweep as the AL East rivals conclude their series at Camden Yards.
Aubrey Huff hit a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th inning to give Baltimore a 1-0 win over the Devil Rays on Wednesday. The Orioles (16-18) improved to 4-1 against Tampa Bay (14-19) this season and have won 10 of their last 12 meetings.
Huff, who spent his first six-plus seasons with the Devil Rays, may have gotten a little satisfaction beating his former team.
“I honestly didn’t know who I was playing when I saw the ball go over the fence,” said Huff, who is batting .385 during a six-game hitting streak. “But I guess it’s a little bit of bragging rights against some of the guys over there.”
The Orioles, who last swept the Devils Rays at home in a three-game series Aug. 25-27, hand the ball to Cabrera (2-3, 4.00 ERA) in a bid to complete the sweep. He is 3-0 with a 2.79 ERA in seven career starts against Tampa Bay, and was dominant in his last appearance against the Rays on Aug. 25, when he struck out seven in seven innings of a 4-0 win.
Cabrera is trying to duplicate one of his best starts of the season after limiting Cleveland to one run and three hits—both season bests—over seven innings of an 8-2 win on Saturday.
He walked four and struck out six, avoiding a third straight defeat.
“We did everything today to win. We hit and we pitched,” Cabrera told the Orioles’ official Web site. “It’s a good thing to go out there and have run support. You see a different game. You can go with more confidence to the hitter.”
Tampa Bay starter James Shields didn’t get any support Wednesday as he scattered just three hits over nine shutout innings. The Devil Rays were shut out for the first time this season and are now trying to avoid tying their season-high four-game losing streak set April 7-11.
They hand the ball to Casey Fossum (2-2, 7.34), who is looking for another strong showing. The left-hander held Oakland to one run and five hits over six innings on Friday, but didn’t factor into the 5-2 defeat.
The performance was a vast improvement from his previous start when he gave up a season-high nine runs over five innings in a 12-5 defeat to the Athletics on April 28.
“I think Casey’s been pitching pretty well, overall,” manager Joe Maddon told the Devil Rays’ official Web site. “The one blip in Oakland, but overall, I like the fact he’s throwing a lot more strikes with his fastball. I think his pitch counts have been more under control. He’s going deeper into the game, I like that.”
Fossum won his only start versus the Orioles this season, allowing three runs and five hits over seven innings of a 6-4 victory on April 17. He is 6-4 with a 4.52 ERA in 16 career games against them, which is his most wins versus any opponent.