Tampa Bay (38-60) at Baltimore (44-54)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Baltimore, MD
Temp: 69° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Tue Jul 24, 2007
  • TV: WXPX, MASN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

As much as they would like to move on, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays may have trouble forgetting their weekend series at Yankee Stadium.

The Devil Rays hope to erase that memory when they open a three-game set Tuesday night against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.

Tampa Bay (38-60) started a four-game set against the Yankees on Friday with a 14-4 victory for their third win in four games. The rest of the series, however, didn’t go nearly as well.

They were swept in a doubleheader Saturday, losing the opener 7-3 and the nightcap 17-5. Sunday’s series finale was even uglier, as New York pounded out 25 hits, including six homers, in a 21-4 rout.

Starter James Shields allowed 10 runs, 10 hits and four walks in 3 1-3 innings, and relievers Casey Fossum and Shawn Camp were reached for eight runs and 12 hits in two innings.

The 38 runs allowed in the final two games were the most since Atlanta gave up 39 in consecutive games against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati in 1977.

“Their offensive line wore us down,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said on the team’s official Web site. “They’re swinging the bats well. We’re not pitching well. … That was a beating.”

Tampa Bay, which owns the worst record in the majors, has lost 20 of its last 25 games. Facing the Orioles (44-53) hasn’t provided much relief for the Devil Rays lately, either—they’ve lost five of six meetings this season, and 11 of the past 13. Tampa Bay also has dropped six straight at Camden Yards, and 17 of 21 since the start of the 2005 season.

The Orioles, winners of three straight at home, are 15-13 under interim manager Dave Trembley after Jeremy Guthrie combined with two relievers on a two-hitter in a 2-0 victory Sunday at Oakland.

Jamie Walker recorded his first save of the season Sunday in place of closer Chris Ray, who complained of right arm stiffness before the game.

“Warming up, I just couldn’t get it going,” Ray said. “We’ve got a day off. We’ll give it some time and see how it feels on Tuesday.”

Tampa Bay’s Scott Kazmir (7-6, 4.02 ERA) looks to win three straight starts for the first time this season. The left-hander has been outstanding in his past two outings, allowing one earned run and seven hits in 13 innings while striking out 13.

He limited the Angels to one run and three hits in seven innings Wednesday in a 7-2 victory. Kazmir threw a season-low 94 pitches in that start, ending a stretch of nine straight starts in which he threw more than 100 pitches and didn’t last more than six innings.

“It’s all starting to come together now. I feel really comfortable out there,” Kazmir said. “It’s not like I’m worrying about mechanics or anything now. I’m just worrying about where I want to put the ball.”

Kazmir is 2-2 with a 5.01 ERA in eight starts against the Orioles, including 1-2 with a 6.38 ERA in four games at Camden Yards. He hasn’t beaten them since Sept. 16, 2005.

Struggling Daniel Cabrera (6-10, 5.30) counters for Baltimore. The right-hander, who leads the majors with 68 walks, is 0-2 with a 6.44 ERA in his last five starts.

Cabrera, starting on three days’ rest, struggled at Seattle on Wednesday, yielding five runs, eight hits and three walks in five innings of a 6-5 loss.

Cabrera, though, is 4-0 with a 3.56 ERA in eight career starts against the Devil Rays.

All-Star outfielder Carl Crawford is expected to return to the Devil Rays after suffering a slightly sprained left ankle on Saturday that forced him to miss the last two games. Crawford leads the AL with 31 stolen bases.

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Starting Pitchers

S. Kazmir Oak vs. D. Cabrera Cin
13-9 Record 9-18
3.48 ERA 5.55
239 K 166
89 BB 108
1.38 WHIP 1.54

Scoreboard

Tuesday, Jul 24