The Tampa Bay Rays have run roughshod over the Baltimore Orioles, winning 11 straight and 17 of 18 meetings overall this season against their American League East rival.
The Rays look to cap off their dominance with another sweep on Sunday when they wrap up their three-game series in Baltimore.
Tampa Bay recorded its sixth straight victory overall after overcoming a three-run deficit to post a 4-3 win on Sunday. The come-from-behind win was nothing new for the Rays, who have done so a majors-best 40 times this season — including 10 times against the Orioles.
“Somebody’s going to be ahead and behind at some point,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “We have done a good job of coming back late. We’ve done a good job of adding runs late in games. … You do notice in the dugout that if we’re down, the guys stay consistent with that mentality.”
Randy Arozarena highlighted the Rays’ comeback win on Saturday with a two-run homer in the eighth inning.
“We’re a very aggressive team,” Arozarena said through a translator. “We never stop until that last out is made. We’re a very dedicated team and we’re out here to win every single time so we can make our way into the playoffs.”
Arozarena has ravaged the Orioles this season, batting .453 (24-for-53) with eight homers, 18 RBIs and 16 runs scored. He has at least one hit in each of the 12 games he’s played against Baltimore in 2021.
“We just don’t pitch well against him,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said, via MASN Sports. “His numbers against everybody else aren’t really what they are against us.”
Arozarena is 3-for-4 with one double and an RBI against Sunday starter Spenser Watkins.
Rookie Wander Franco carries a 28-game on-base streak into the series finale.
Tampa Bay right-hander Chris Archer (0-1, 4.26 ERA) will make his fourth appearance and third start of the season on Sunday.
Archer, 32, allowed one hit over two innings of a no-decision in the Rays’ 9-0 romp over the Chicago White Sox last Sunday. He exited the contest with left hip soreness, however he reported no issues following a bullpen session on Wednesday.
“I’m glad to check the box, for sure,” Archer said. “I even felt good immediately when I came out (Sunday), like after we started to do some treatment to help get that area just to calm down. So I’ve been optimistic the whole time, and this just reinforced the optimism.”
Archer owns a 6-10 record with a 5.07 ERA in 20 career appearances (19 starts) against Baltimore.
Watkins (2-6, 7.07) has seen his fortunes change in a hurry.
The 29-year-old right-hander answered a 2-0 mark in his first four appearances by going 0-6 with a 10.52 ERA in his last six starts. He has allowed 31 runs (30 earned) on 42 hits over 25 2/3 innings during his winless stretch.
Watkins is 1-2 with a 5.06 ERA in three career appearances against Tampa Bay this season.
–Field Level Media