Baltimore (61-94) at Tampa Bay (93-62)

Fair Currently: St. Petersburg, FL
Temp: 85° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Mon Sep 27, 2010
  • TV: MASN2, SUN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

With a slim AL East lead and seven games to play, the Tampa Bay Rays can use all the wins they can get.

Victories have been the norm lately with Wade Davis(notes) on the mound.

Davis seeks his eighth straight win Monday when the Rays open a three-game home series against the last-place Baltimore Orioles.

The Rays (93-62) remain in the driver’s seat for their second division title in three years, but saw their lead trimmed to one-half game Sunday. They lost 6-2 to Seattle in the afternoon, snapping a four-game winning streak. Later Sunday night, the second-place Yankees defeated Boston 4-3, gaining ground on Tampa Bay but also meaning the Rays have clinched at least a tie for a playoff spot.

Manager Joe Maddon did not seem concerned about Sunday’s loss.

“I think the wonderful thing about our group is we have a very short memory and it has nothing to do with lack of intellect,” Maddon said. “I think it’s just the fact that we’re able to process the day properly and move on to the next day.”

Having Davis (12-9, 4.13 ERA) on the mound could help Tampa Bay move past the loss. The right-hander is 7-0 with a 3.19 ERA in his last 11 starts, and 3-0 with a 1.86 in four career starts against Baltimore, including his only shutout Sept. 17, 2009 - also his first career win.

July’s AL rookie of the month threw 2 1-3 hitless innings at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, but a two-hour rain delay cut his outing short.

The Rays may not have the services of third baseman Evan Longoria(notes), who has missed the last three games with a left quadriceps strain and was scheduled to be re-evaluated Monday. Maddon said the three-time All-Star’s status is unknown.

A bright spot for Baltimore (61-94), Brian Matusz(notes) (8-12, 4.59) will try to extend his own winning streak.

Matusz is 4-0 with a 1.91 ERA over his last six starts, but has been knocked around by Tampa Bay over his career, posting a 6.23 ERA over four starts The left-hander surrendered nine hits and five runs in a 7-3 loss Aug. 14 at Tropicana Field.

Despite suffering a left triceps contusion in his previous outing, Matusz was able to start Monday’s game against Boston. He limited the Red Sox to one run and three hits over five innings, but did not receive a decision in the Orioles’ 4-2 win.

Carl Crawford(notes) is batting .404 with two homers versus the Orioles this season, but is 0-7 with three strikeouts lifetime against Matusz.

Baltimore has dropped four straight on its current nine-game road trip, including a 5-2 loss to Toronto on Sunday.

Nick Markakis(notes) is 1-13 against Davis in his career.

The Rays own a 10-5 edge in the season series with Baltimore.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Matusz Bal vs. W. Davis KC
10-12 Record 12-10
4.30 ERA 4.07
143 K 113
63 BB 62
1.34 WHIP 1.35

Scoreboard

Monday, Sep 27