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Tuesday night Orioles game thread: vs. Rays, 6:35 ET

Operation “Take Down Tampa Bay,” Take Two.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Despite being in a three-game losing streak, the Orioles remain undeterred, having had to face two of baseball’s best teams in consecutive series and having largely gone toe-to-toe with them. Tonight, Baltimore gets a chance to even the season series against one of them.

The Rays are 29-7 and it turns out that they do everything well. They can hit, like when they mounted a six-run rally to roll over the Yankees on Sunday. And they pitch: last night’s starter, Shane McClanahan, shut the Birds out on just four hits.

This is no easy assignment for rookie Grayson Rodriguez, who enters this matchup with a 1-0 record and 5.46 ERA. It’s been up-and-down for the right-hander in the early days of his MLB career. Here’s his ERA per outing so far:

4/5 @ TEX: 3.60
4/22 vs. OAK: 10.38
4.16 @ CWS: 7.20
4/23 vs. DET: 0.00
4/29 @ DET: 0.00
5/4 @ KC: 14.73

Let’s have more of whatever Grayson was serving Detroit hitters when they couldn’t hit him at all, shall we? Last week against KC Rodriguez’s stuff was some of the worst he’s shown all year, not so much in wildness as in the non-deceptiveness of his breaking pitches. Even a bad KC lineup made him pay for it, slugging an eye-popping 1.167 that day, while Rodriguez’s 12.5% putaway rate (e.g., how often a two-strike pitch results in a strikeout) was his lowest of the season. So far, last week looks like an outlier, and let’s hope it stays that way.

Zach Eflin has a nifty 4-0 record and 2.25 ERA this season. In light of his career 4.40 ERA, the former Phillies starter appears to be taking to Tampa Bay coaching like a … devil ray to water (sorry). Partly he’s achieved success by cutting down on walks, but a 4.12 xERA and elevated barrel percentage also suggest he’s had some luck. Eflin throws mostly sinkers, cutters and curveballs, and has had trouble with the cutter, which has a .327 expected average. Let’s see if O’s hitters can dig in tonight.

Against the right-hander, Baltimore is lefty-heavy: Mullins, Rutschman, Santander, Frazier, Henderson, and Stowers are all in the lineup tonight.

Let’s go O’s!

Tampa Bay lineup

1. Yandy Díaz 1B
2. Wander Franco SS
3. Randy Arozarena LF
4. Harold Ramírez DH
5. Luke Raley RF
6. Isaac Paredes 3B
7. Taylor Walls 2B
8. Christian Bethancourt C
9. Manuel Margot CF

Orioles lineup

1. Cedric Mullins CF
2. Adley Rutschman C
3. Anthony Santander DH
4. Ryan Mountcastle 1B
5. Adam Frazier 2B
6. Austin Hays LF
7. Gunnar Henderson 3B
8. Jorge Mateo SS
9. Kyle Stowers RF