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Game Preview: Tampa Bay Rays vs Baltimore Orioles

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, the Tampa Bay Rays will welcome a division rival to the Trop as they’ll take on the Baltimore Orioles to kickoff a three game series.

The Rays are coming off a series victory over the Cincinnati Reds, taking the final two games of the three game set and they enjoyed an off day on Thursday. Heading into play tonight, the Rays are 39-36, sitting two and a half games back of the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, who are tied for the division lead. The Rays have a half game lead over the Minnesota Twins for the second wild card spot.

The Baltimore Orioles meanwhile, have had a rough go of it. At the end of April, they led the AL East and had one of the best records in baseball, things have fallen apart since then and they’ve been among the worst teams in baseball. Their pitching staff has allowed at least five runs in 19 straight games and if the Rays score five times tonight, the Orioles will have tied a century old record.

However, despite all this, the Orioles are still just two games under .500 and within five games of the division and two and half games back of the second wild card.

Starting Pitchers

Chris Archer goes to the hill for the Rays as they look to gain an early series advantage against a division rival. Archer’s last time on the mound came on the 17th in Detroit where he held the Tigers to two runs on six hits, while he walked one and struck out eight over six innings pitched.

Ubaldo Jimenez will oppose Archer for the Orioles. He has not been very good for Baltimore this season. He was removed from the starting rotation towards the end of May, but rejoined it during his last time out on the 18th where he allowed two runs on four hits, while he walked four and struck out three over seven innings pitched against the St Louis Cardinals.

Today's Lineups

Seth Smith - DH Mallex Smith - CF
Manny Machado - 3B Corey Dickerson - DH
Adam Jones - CF Evan Longoria - 3B
Mark Trumbo - RF Logan Morrison - 1B
Jonathan Schoop - 2B Steven Souza - RF
Trey Mancini - 1B Shane Peterson - LF
Welington Castillo - C Tim Beckham - SS
Hyun Soo Kim - LF Daniel Robertson - 2B
Ruben Tejada - SS Derek Norris - C
Ubaldo Jimenez - RHP Chris Archer - RHP