Tampa Bay (18-14) at Baltimore (14-17)

Cloudy Currently: Baltimore, MD
Temp: 81° F
  • Game info: 1:10 pm EDT Sat May 7, 2011
  • TV: FOX
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Tampa Bay Rays’ season got off to a shaky start at home against the Baltimore Orioles.

On the road, however, they’ve been outstanding.

The Rays go for their seventh straight road win Saturday when they continue their series against the Orioles.

Coming off a 3-3 homestand in which it averaged 3.3 runs and hit .234, Tampa Bay (18-14) opened a six-game trip with 6-2 win over Baltimore (14-17) on Friday, finishing with 10 hits, including four for extra bases.

The Orioles limited the Rays to three total runs during a season-opening three-game sweep at Tropicana Field. However, Tampa Bay has gone 17-6 since its 1-8 start, and is leading the AL with 6.1 runs per game on the road, where it is a league-best 9-4.

The Rays have averaged 7.2 runs during their six-game road streak.

On Friday, Johnny Damon(notes) and Brandon Guyer each homered while James Shields(notes) allowed only Derrek Lee’s(notes) solo shot over 7 1-3 innings.

Guyer’s homer came in his first big league at-bat after he was recalled from Triple-A Durham earlier in the day to fill the roster vacancy created when Jeff Niemann(notes) was placed on the disabled list.

“I couldn’t have scripted it any better,” he said. “Definitely exciting. Pretty surreal right now.”

Baltimore (14-17) has lost four of five while getting outscored 29-13. The Orioles had five hits Friday after managing the same amount in Thursday’s 9-1 loss at Kansas City.

“I am concerned that we’re not playing to our capabilities offensively,” manager Buck Showalter said. “I have a lot of confidence that that will change (but) we didn’t put up much resistance tonight.”

One of the few Orioles hitting well recently is Vladimir Guerrero(notes), who had two doubles Friday and a run scored. He’s hitting .306 the last 15 games.

This will be Guerrero’s first time facing Jeremy Hellickson(notes) (2-2, 4.31 ERA), who takes the mound for the first time in over a week.

Hellickson picked up his first win in three starts after giving up three runs in 6 1-3 innings of a 15-3 win over Minnesota on April 28.

The Rays were trying to keep Shields and David Price(notes) on regular rest so they skipped his turn in the rotation this week.

The second-year right-hander beat the Orioles in his only start against them Aug. 15. He allowed one run and three hits over six innings while walking one and striking out six in a 3-2 victory.

Jeremy Guthrie(notes) (1-4, 3.00) counters for Baltimore looking for another solid outing against Tampa Bay.

Guthrie has lost his last four decisions since winning opening day against the Rays, but has received six total runs of support in his past five starts.

He allowed four runs and two homers over seven innings of a 6-2 loss at Chicago on Monday.

The right-hander is 6-7 with a 3.79 ERA in 14 starts and two relief appearances against the Rays, but has won three straight starts against them with an 0.86 ERA. He pitched eight scoreless innings April 1 at Tampa Bay, giving up three hits and striking out six in a 4-1 win.

Damon is 8 for 40 against Guthrie.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Hellickson Ari vs. J. Guthrie KC
13-10 Record 9-17
2.95 ERA 4.33
117 K 130
72 BB 66
1.15 WHIP 1.34

Scoreboard

Saturday, May 7