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|4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 PM CT, August 24, 2019
Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland Attendance: 11,409
Rays trying to turn on the power vs. Orioles
The Tampa Bay Rays know that Camden Yards is a place where teams hit home runs. They've done that in a big way in their first two games in Baltimore for the weekend series against the Orioles.
The Rays aren't known as a power-hitting team this season, ranking 20th in the major leagues in home runs (172), but they have hit three in the first two games that have accounted for six of the 12 runs they have scored. They'll try to keep the power and offense going Saturday.
In Friday's 7-1 win, the Rays scored all seven runs in the second inning, with four coming on Austin Meadows' grand slam. Meadows and Willy Adames had solo homers in Thursday's 5-2 victory.
These victories are big because the Rays are in the hunt for an American League wild-card spot. After Friday's win, they lead that race.
On Saturday, the Rays will use left-hander Jose Alvarado (1-5, 4.55 ERA) as their opener. He is going to go against Baltimore left-hander John Means (8-9, 3.75), the lone Orioles player on this year's All-Star team.
This will be Alvarado's 140th career appearance but just his first "start." He's 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in 15 appearances (no starts) against the Orioles.
Tampa Bay is expecting outfielder Avisail Garcia to return for Saturday's game. He has been on the 10-day injured list due to a right oblique strain and, according to MLB.com, played one game at Triple-A Durham to make sure all was well, and that went just fine.
"Yeah, he's excited," Rays manager Kevin Cash told MLB.com. "Most likely it'll be [Saturday], activate him and get him back in the lineup."
Also, outfielder Tommy Pham jammed his wrist late in Friday's win and left the game, but Cash told the media that he should be fine.
For the Orioles, the big question is if Means can find his form again. He has struggled since the All-Star break but pitched much better on Monday against the Kansas City Royals, taking a no-hitter into the sixth, before giving up three runs (two earned) in that frame.
An error hurt Means in that inning, and he was doing a good job with his changeup, before slipping in the sixth. Overall, he's 1-1 with a 4.80 ERA in three games (two starts) against the Rays in his brief career.
The Orioles made some noise Thursday when manager Brandon Hyde said the team would only play Chris Davis in certain spots due to his lack of offensive production. One day later, Davis started but went 0-for-3, and his average slipped to .177.
Starter Ty Blach gave up all seven runs in the second inning, and Baltimore optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk after the game.
The Orioles also put right-hander Shawn Armstrong, who has been one of their steadier pitchers out of the bullpen, on the 10-day injured list due to a right forearm strain. Hyde is hopeful Armstrong will return quickly.
"I don't see him missing much time after the 10 days," Hyde said. "He got checked out today. The medical people feel confident that he should be OK after the 10 days is up."
Jonathan Villar was the only Orioles batter to produce on offense in Friday's loss, getting a solo homer in the eighth.
--Field Level Media
Updated August 24, 2019