Orioles @ Rays lineups and game notes - May 8

Hannah Foslien

The Orioles attempt to capture their first sweep of a three-game series in 2014, sending Ubaldo Jimenez to the hill to face former Cy Young winner David Price and yes, Wieters is in the lineup.

Maybe the O's can score a few more runs and win by a wide margin tonight. That won't be easy with the flame-throwing lefty on the mound, but I just don't think I can take three straight nights of Tommy Hunter in the ninth inning. Give 'em a rest this evening.

Time: 7:10 pm ET Place: Tropicana Field (St. Petersburg, Florida)
TV: MASN (BAL), Sun Sports (TB), and MLB Network
Radio: 1090AM WBAL (BAL), WHNZ 1250AM, WXTB 98 Rock/97.9FM, WGES 680AM (TB)

Pitchers

LHP David Price, Tampa Bay

2014 stats: 7 G, 3-2, 4.44 ERA, 48.2 IP, 52 H, 24 ER, 8 HR, 5 BB, 55 SO, BAA .271, 1.17 WHIP
Last start (vs. NYY): 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 8 SO, ND

Looking at the game logs for Price this year reveals that his performances have yo-yoed thus far. That is to say he tends to follow a good start with a mediocre or bad start. If that pattern continues it is good news for the Orioles. He was pretty darn good against the Yankees on Friday, going seven innings and only giving up two runs.

Something that hasn't fluctuated is his propensity for high strikeout totals and low walk totals. Right now, he has a mind-boggling 11/1 strikeout to walk ratio. However, that may also be his downfall. They guy hasn't been throwing balls this year. This has allowed hitters to get comfortable, dig in and hit .271 against him this season; a drastic increase from his career. 234 batting average against.

Price has especially been susceptibility to the long ball, giving up eight of them already this season. That is tied for third in all of baseball with former Oriole Jeremy Guthrie and we all know how often Guts gave up bombs.

RHP Ubaldo Jimenez, Baltimore

2014 starts: 6 G, 1-4, 5.19 ERA, 34.2 IP, 36 H, 20 ER, 5 HR, 18 BB, 31 SO, .265 BAA, 1.56 WHIP
Last start (vs. MIN): 7.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 10 SO, W

That was the type of start manager Buck Showalter envisioned when the O's signed Jimenez to that big contract in February. He was outstanding against the Twins last week. If he is to emerge as the force on the mound Baltimore needs, he will be looked at to go deep once again.

He has now increased his strikeout per nine innings, closer to his career average of 8.26 (it sits at 8.05 in 2014). However, Minnesota is one of the more notorious free-swinging teams in the league right, being third in the majors in the category. Tampa Bay is much more patient and will look to make Jimenez work for his outs.

This will be a good test for Ubaldo but one he is capable of meeting. The Birds are on a mini roll at the moment and will head home after the game to face the lowly Astros. A stand-out performance here can put Baltimore on the tracks towards the ever-elusive extended winning streak. Go get 'em.

Lineups

Orioles (w/ career stats against Price)

RF Nick Markakis (L) 11-for-44, .250 BA, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 BB, 9 SO
3B Manny Machado (R) 4-for-12, .333 BA, 1 2B, 1 SO
LF Nelson Cruz (R) 6-for-16, 2 HR, 2 BB, 2 SO
CF Adam Jones (R) 9-for-41, .220 BA, 3 2B, 1 BB, 11 SO
DH Matt Wieters (S) 14-for-38, .368 6 2B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 13 SO
SS J.J.Hardy (R) 11-for-34, .324 BA, 4 2B, 2 BB, 10 SO
1B Steve Pearce (R) 2-for-10, .200 BA, 3 SO
2B Jonathan Schoop (R) none
C Caleb Joseph (R) none

Markakis is the only lefty in the lineup again. Hardy and Wieters have had their way with Price, but Mamma Mia, look at those strikeout totals for the 4-5-6 hitters, including the aforementioned shortstop and designated hitter. If Price continues his strike-throwing ways then we could see a bit of the good and bad from the middle of the order.

Joseph is in the lineup again and still looking for his first big league hit. It would be pretty cool to say it came against a Cy Young winner.

Rays (w/ career stats against Jimenez)

2B Ben Zobrist (S) 2-for-7, .286 BA, 1 2B, 2 BB, 1 SO
CF Desmond Jennings (R) 1-for-7, .143 BA, 1 2B, 1 BB, 3 SO
LF Matt Joyce (L) 0-for-3, .000 BA, 1 BB, 2 SO
3B Evan Longoria (R) 1-for-6, .167 BA, 3 SO
1B James Loney (L) 9-for-49, .184 BA, 2 HR, 3 BB, 8 SO
RF Wil Myers (R) none
DH David DeJesus (L) 0-for-3, .000 BA
SS Yunel Escobar (R) 7-for-19, .368 BA, 1 HR, 4 BB, 1 SO
C Jose Molina (R) 3-for-7, .429 BA, 1 BB, 1 SO

Jimenez may actually need to be more careful with the bottom of this lineup. Escobar and Molina have the best numbers against the Orioles' right-hander. Other than that, this lineup has had little success with the Dominican native. Could we see an encore of "Good Ubaldo"? Let us hope.

Notes

  • Jimenez in four starts against Tampa: 3-1, 2.73 ERA. Last time at Tropicana field: 5.2 IP, 5 R, 7 H, 5 BB
  • More on Jimenez: 0-3, 6.74 ERA , in four starts against AL East teams in 2014
  • C Brian Ward has been transferred from Bowie to Norfolk to replace Joseph
  • After another inning of great relief last night, Zach Britton now boasts a 0.89 ERA, leads O's relievers with 20.1 IP, and has the best ground ball-to-flyball ratio in baseball: 11.75. Look out, Miguel Gonzalez.
  • The Orioles are 12-6 in night games (.667 winning percentage). That's good for first in the AL and second in all of baseball behind Colorado (17-8, .680)
  • Chris Davis took 20 swings in the cage before the game today, felt no pain. Will hit on the field at OPACY tomorrow. Something CC's Mark Brown discusses here.
  • Another game of interest: Cubs vs. White Sox. Jake Arrieta takes the mound for the north-siders.
  • Hunter is the only closer in baseball without a clean, 1-2-3 inning. Simply incredible.
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