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Preview: Orioles (59-46) at Rays (52-55)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Game: 2
Venue: Tropicana Field
Date: September 21, 2013 1:05 PM EDT

The Tampa Bay Rays needed nearly seven hours to improve their playoff chances in the opener of this four-game series.

Alex Cobb will try to do that a lot quicker Saturday.

Cobb looks to give the Rays' bullpen some relief while matching a franchise-record winning streak with another victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

Tampa Bay (84-69) and Cleveland hold the AL's two wild-card positions, but the Rays are one-half game ahead for home-field advantage. The race, though, is far from settled with Texas, Baltimore, Kansas City and the New York Yankees all within three games of the Indians.


With nine games left, the Rays created some slight separation Friday. David DeJesus' fourth hit scored Desmond Jennings to secure a 5-4, 18-inning win over the Orioles (81-72) in the longest game for either team at 6 hours, 54 minutes.

"That's everything right there that you play 162 games for," the Rays' Chris Gimenez said. "I've never been a part of a game that long. To win it, especially how we did it, I hope this is something we can take and kind of run with.

"It couldn't happen at a better time, I'll tell you that much. It's a huge win for us. The only thing we can control is how we go out and play. If we win, we're in. Got that Al Davis mentality, 'Just win baby.'"

Both teams will try to take that mentality to Tropicana Field less than 12 hours after DeJesus' hit.

Cobb (9-3, 3.02 ERA), though, may benefit from facing some tired Orioles as he tries to spare Tampa Bay's bullpen. Joe Madden used 10 relievers over the final 13 innings Friday, including starter and winning pitcher Jeremy Hellickson.

Cobb is 7-0 with a 2.85 ERA over his last 13 starts at home dating to last year. Another win would match the Rays' record of eight shared by James Shields (2011-12), Jeff Niemann (2009-10) and Jim Mecir (1998-2000).

A superb performance in Monday's 6-2 win over Texas pulled Cobb closer to that trio. He struck out 10 while allowing two runs in eight innings.

Cobb is 2-0 with a 2.04 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 17 2-3 innings over three starts versus Baltimore. He earned a 7-4 win in the most recent matchup Aug. 20, yielding two runs and three hits in six innings.

The Orioles, 2 1/2 games back of Cleveland, are trying to avoid an untimely three-game skid.

Miguel Gonzalez (10-7, 3.92) is expected to start despite exiting his most recent outing with a groin injury. The only run the right-hander allowed Sunday came on a solo homer before leaving with one out in the sixth of a 3-1 win at Toronto.

"I don't feel any pain," Gonzalez told the team's official website. "I'm ready to go when they tell me. I want to be on the mound anytime I can. That's what we're here for."

Like Cobb, Gonzalez may need to go deep Saturday since manager Buck Showalter used nine relievers over 13 innings in the opener, including Bud Norris.

Norris gave up the decisive hit to DeJesus, and was charged with a loss. He was expected to be used in case Gonzalez had any issues, but throwing 54 pitches in 2 1-3 innings has surely changed those plans.

Showalter, though, feels comfortable having Gonzalez start in Tampa Bay, where he's 2-0 with a 0.92 ERA in three starts.

"(Gonzalez has) done well in this venue," Showalter said.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

Orioles at Rays
Fri, Sep 20 Final 4 to 5
 Boxscores    Recaps
Orioles at Rays
Sat, Sep 21 Final 1 to 5
 Boxscores    Recaps
Orioles at Rays
Sun, Sep 22 Final 1 to 3
 Boxscores    Recaps
Orioles at Rays
Mon, Sep 23 Final 4 to 5
 Boxscores    Recaps

 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 BAL  +135   -170   7.5 
 TAM  -145   +150   

 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 BAL  +134   -160   7.5 
 TAM  -144   +140   

 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 BAL  65%   50%   26% 
 TAM  35%   50%   74% 

 Sep 20, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 BAL 4 Over: 9 
 TAM 5 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Aug 21, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TAM 2 Under: 6 
 BAL 4 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Aug 20, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TAM 7 Cover: +100 
 BAL 4 Over: 11 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Aug 19, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TAM 4 Cover: +100 
 BAL 3 Under: 7 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jun 9, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 BAL 10 Cover: +130 
 TAM 7 Over: 17 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jun 8, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 BAL 0 Under: 8 
 TAM 8 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jun 7, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 BAL 1 Under: 3 
 TAM 2 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 May 19, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TAM 3 Cover: +100 
 BAL 1 Under: 4 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 May 18, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TAM 10 Cover: +100 
 BAL 6 Over: 16 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 May 17, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TAM 12 Cover: +100 
 BAL 10 Over: 22 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps

 Saturday, Sep 21
    Giants at Yankees
1:05 PM EDT
    Orioles at Rays
1:05 PM EDT
    Twins at Athletics
4:05 PM EDT
    Braves at Cubs
4:05 PM EDT
    Astros at Indians
6:05 PM EDT
    White Sox at Tigers
7:05 PM EDT
    Marlins at Nationals
7:05 PM EDT
    Mets at Phillies
7:05 PM EDT
    Reds at Pirates
7:05 PM EDT
    Blue Jays at Red Sox
7:10 PM EDT
    Rangers at Royals
7:10 PM EDT
    Cardinals at Brewers
7:10 PM EDT
    Diamondbacks at Rockies
8:10 PM EDT
    Dodgers at Padres
8:40 PM EDT
    Mariners at Angels
9:05 PM EDT
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