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Monday night Orioles game thread: at Rays, 7:10

The Birds are in enemy territory tonight to play an imposing AL East rival.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles
Orioles outfielder Austin Hays tries to avoid the tag of Jordan Luplow at first base.
Daniel Kucin Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles are in a tailspin. They’ve lost their past 11 games in a row and seem to be wilting in the late summer heat. And things won’t get any easier over the next several days. Their upcoming opponent is 7-3 in their last 10 games.

The Birds begin a four-game series against the AL East-leading Rays in Tampa Bay tonight. In 12 games this year against the Rays, Baltimore has won just once and been outscored 94-49. The talent gap between these two ballclubs is immense.

Veteran Matt Harvey will start the series opener for Baltimore. He took a loss in his most recent start, surrendering eight hits, three walks, and three runs in five innings against Detroit. In his lone start against the Rays this season, Harvey allowed six runs over 1.2 innings. But still, Harvey has been a very different pitcher in the second half of the season. In his past five starts, the right-hander has a 1.65 ERA and .208 BAA.

The Rays will deploy right-hander Collin McHugh tonight against the O’s. The veteran hurler is 25 games (and four starts) into his Rays career. He opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 and spent the previous six years before that with the Astros. It’s important to note that McHugh has only pitched 6.2 innings across those four starts. The Rays have been using him as an opener on occasion, and we should expect that scenario to play out tonight. McHugh has a minuscule 1.41 ERA in 44.2 innings, and he’s thrown a total of seven scoreless innings against the Birds this year.

Orioles lineup

  1. Cedric Mullins CF
  2. Trey Mancini 1B
  3. Anthony Santander DH
  4. Austin Hays RF
  5. DJ Stewart LF
  6. Ramón Urías 3B
  7. Jorge Mateo 2B
  8. Austin Wynns C
  9. Richie Martin SS

RHP Matt Harvey

Rays lineup

  1. Brandon Lowe 2B
  2. Ji-Man Choi 1B
  3. Manuel Margot LF
  4. Austin Meadows DH
  5. Joey Wendle SS
  6. Mike Brosseau 3B
  7. Brett Phillips RF
  8. Kevin Kiermaier CF
  9. Francisco Mejia C

RHP Collin McHugh