Today’s Orioles – Rays Lineups

May 05, 2009 |

The six-game losing streak is officially over, and this afternoon at 4:07 the Orioles will attempt to make it back-to-back victories over their division rival Tampa Rays.  This contest will be the last of a five-game road-trip before the O’s head back home for a pair against the Minnesota Twins.

Last night’s 8-4 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field was a much needed shot in the arm for the O’s, who had lost 14 of their previous 17.  Starring in hitting roles for the Birds were the two men who signed big money extensions over the off-season.  Brian Roberts was 2 for 4, with a home run, 3 runs, 2 RBI’s and a walk, and Nick Markakis went 3 for 5, with a homer, 2 runs, and 3 RBI’s.  Each also added a swiped bag off Tampa reliever Joe Nelson on a double-steal.  Adam Eaton scattered five hits and four earned over five innings and picked up a no-decision, while Denys Baez got the win in relief adding two scoreless frames in the 6th and 7th.  George Sherrill came into the 9th with a four-run lead and put two Rays base-runners in scoring position, but Felix Pie’s phenomenal diving grab in left was the game’s final out and gave the Orioles the W.

34-year old Japanese-born righty Koji Uehara will get the nod today from manager Dave Trembley.  In his last start Uehara needed to be removed from the game after taking a line-drive off his chest in the seventh inning against the Angels.  He and the team are fortunate that the shot only caused a bruised sternum and that he’ll be back on the mound after not missing any time.  This will be Uehara’s sixth start in the bigs and so far he’s gone 2-2 with a 4.50 ERA.  There are signs he’s been getting stretched out more and more as he’s pitched into the seventh inning in each of his last three outings.

The Orioles will face last year’s American League Championship Series MVP this afternoon when Rays starter Matt Garza takes the ball from manager Joe Maddon.  Garza has posted a 2-2 record with a 3.82 ERA this year, but is easily coming off his best pitched game of the season.  In his last start Garza went 7.2 shutout innings against the Red Sox and was perfect for the first six before giving up one lone hit and surrendering one base on balls in the win.  He has been almost as dominating in his short career while facing Baltimore, he’s posted a 5-0 mark with a 2.80 ERA through six starts.  The O’s will certainly have their hands full with the 25-year old this afternoon.

And here are the day’s starting nine for each side:

Orioles

Brian Roberts – 2B
Adam Jones – CF
Nick Markakis – RF
Aubrey Huff – 1B
Melvin Mora – 3B
Luke Scott – LF
Ty Wigginton – DH
Gregg Zaun – C
Robert Andino – SS

Rays

B.J. Upton – CF
Carl Crawford – LF
Evan Longoria – 3B
Carlos Pena – 1B
Pat Burrell – DH
Jason Bartlett – SS
Akinori Iwamura- 2B
Gabe Kapler – RF
Dioner Navarro- C

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