The Tampa Bay Rays attempt to lock up the season series when they host the stumbling Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night in the second of a three-game set that ends a disappointing campaign for both teams. Logan Morrison belted his 38th homer of the season Friday as the Rays routed the Orioles 7-0 for their ninth victory in 17 games against Baltimore, which is just 4-17 in its last 21 contests.
Tampa Bay assured itself of third place in the American League East with Friday’s triumph but is still 8-12 in the last 20 games while falling out of contention for the second wild-card spot. Chris Archer will try to earn his first victory this month and improve his numbers against the Orioles this season (1-2, 7.71 ERA) when he takes the mound Saturday against Miguel Castro. Baltimore dropped to 29-50 on the road with the setback and has been outscored 43-22 while losing five of its last six contests to fall into a tie for last place with Toronto in the AL East. Adam Jones, who is 8-for-20 in his last five games, missed Friday’s contest due to leg soreness, but rookie Trey Mancini went 1-for-3 in the loss to extend his career-high hitting streak to 17 games.
TV: 6:10 p.m. ET, MASN2 (Baltimore), FSN Sun (Tampa Bay)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Miguel Castro (3-2, 3.29 ERA) vs. Rays RH Chris Archer (9-12, 4.18)
Castro is scheduled to make his first major-league start after registering 75 career relief appearances, including 38 this season. The 22-year-old Dominican has given up at least a run in six consecutive outings, including last Friday when he surrendered one run on three hits over 2 1/3 innings. Morrison has gone deep against Castro, who owns a 2.00 ERA in five games against the Rays this season.
Archer looks to end a rough September on a high note after going 0-5 with a 9.72 ERA in five outings after giving up six runs over 3 2/3 innings at Baltimore on Sunday. The 29-year-old needs to complete four innings to reach 200 for the third straight season and is nine strikeouts shy of his career-high (252, 2015). Jonathan Schoop is 10-for-24 with three homers versus Archer, who is 4-8 lifetime against the Orioles.
1. Baltimore SS Tim Beckham went 0-for-4 on Friday and aggravated a hamstring injury that caused him to miss the previous three games.
2. Tampa Bay 3B Evan Longoria also homered Friday to reach 20 for the ninth time in his first 10 seasons.
3. Schoop had a single and a walk Friday, improving to 19-for-62 with four homers and 11 RBIs against the Rays this year.
PREDICTION: Rays 5, Orioles 3