Found May 11, 2012 on Fox Sports Florida:
Mlb_may_31_e2c9
Tune into Sun Sports at 6:30 p.m. to watch the Rays take on the Baltimore Orioles. The Tampa Bay Rays were expected to be competing for the AL East lead. The same can't be said about the Baltimore Orioles. One of them is about to get the upper hand in the division chase, and the Rays are banking on a better performance from Jeremy Hellickson to tilt things in their favor. Hellickson takes the mound against the Orioles as the AL East co-leaders open a three-game series Friday night at Camden Yards. Tampa Bay (20-12) has reached the postseason in three of the last four years, winning two division titles. That success combined with a strong rotation is reason enough for the Rays to be considered a favorite to add another crown in 2012. So far, they're living up to expectations, but the Orioles (20-12) are far exceeding any that they've had for more than a decade. The moribund franchise hasn't finished with a winning record since winning the East and reaching the AL championship series in 1997. Now, there's optimism in Baltimore, but Hellickson (3-0, 2.75 ERA) isn't surprised. "They're a good ballclub," Hellickson told the team's official website. "It's not an easy place to pitch. I just have to do better." Hellickson split two starts in Baltimore last year, allowing five runs and 10 hits - two homers - with eight walks in 10 2-3 innings. He's been much better against the Orioles at home, where he's won all three starts with a 0.75 ERA. The right-hander will try to rebound from his worst start of the season. He gave up three runs and five hits with three walks while throwing 102 pitches in 3 2-3 innings of Saturday's 4-3 loss in 12 to Oakland. "It's not a good feeling, getting pulled in the fourth inning," Hellickson said. While Hellickson tries to become accustomed to Camden Yards, Luke Scott should feel right at home in his first game there since signing with the Rays after four years with Baltimore. Scott hit 84 homers - 53 at Camden Yards - in his time in an Orioles uniform, the most for the team in that period. His seven homers for Tampa Bay tie him with Matt Joyce for the club lead, while his 22 RBIs are tops on the Rays. Both teams lost their most recent series. Tampa Bay has dropped four of five following Thursday's 5-3 defeat at New York, while Baltimore lost three of four at home to Texas. The Orioles had a chance to sweep a doubleheader Thursday, but fell 7-3 in the nightcap. Baltimore hit five home runs in a 6-5 win in the opener, becoming the first AL team to start a game with three in a row. This series continues a challenging stretch for Buck Showalter's Orioles, who have gone 6-4 thus far against the Yankees, Boston and Texas. "Tampa's a perennial playoff team," Showalter said. "It's playing at this level. There's another challenge right behind it." Adam Jones is 5 for 13 with a double and a homer against Hellickson. He enters this matchup with three homers and six RBIs in his last eight games, despite going 6 for 33. Baltimore is expected to recall Dana Eveland from Triple-A Norfolk and give him his first start of the season. The left-hander was 3-2 with a 2.21 ERA in six starts in the minors after the Orioles acquired him in a three-player deal from the Los Angeles Dodgers in December. "He's pitching real well down there, pitching as well as any of their starters are, so I think we're lucky to have him," Showalter said. "We'll see if Tampa agrees with me." Eveland is 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA in three starts against the Rays, but hasn't faced them since April 26, 2009.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES
THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Rays' Matt Joyce injured on go-ahead HR swing

Your browser does not support iframes. There aren’t many things that can ruin a go-ahead three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning. With the Yankees and Rays tied 1-1 on Wednesday night, runners on the corners and two out, Rays outfielder Matt Joyce found a way. As you can see from the video above, Joyce hit what turned out to be a game-winning homerun but fell like a ton...

Struggling Moore takes mound for Rays

While Matt Moore has had a rough season thus far, Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon doesn't seem too concerned. Moore takes the mound Saturday night looking to put a disastrous outing behind him as the Rays continue a three-game set with the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards. Considered among the top pitching prospects in baseball, Moore (1-2, 5.71 ERA) hasn't lived up...

Rays activate Keppinger, put Allen on DL

The Tampa Bay Rays have activated infielder Jeff Keppinger from the restricted list and put first baseman-outfielder Brandon Allen on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained right quadriceps. The Rays made the moves before Thursday night's game against New York. Keppinger started at designated hitter - he's 8 for 17 lifetime against Yankees starter CC Sabathia. Keppinger...

Price, Rays ready to face Sabathia in New York

Tune into Sun Sports at 6:30 p.m. to watch the Tampa Bay Rays take on the New York Yankees. While lefties David Price and CC Sabathia rank among the better pitchers in the game, this enticing matchup has proven to be a one-sided affair. With Price looking to improve to 4-0 against Sabathia, the Tampa Bay Rays seek a ninth win in 10 meetings with the New York Yankees as the teams...

With series at stake, Rays show fortitude

Considering how the Tampa Bay Rays were tumbling lately, it was only fitting that Matt Joyce took a dramatic spill Wednesday night while lifting his team out of its tailspin. His three-run blast in the top of the ninth at Yankee Stadium was one of the more unusual game-winners in recent memory. The clutch rip into the right field seats off New York closer David Robertson left Joyce...

Matsui preparing for Rays' Class AAA debut

Outfielder Hideki Matsui is traveling to Toronto this weekend to obtain his visa, the Tampa Bay Rays announced on Saturday. It is expected that Matsui will arrive in Durham, N.C., on Tuesday to begin playing for the Bulls, the Rays' Class AAA affiliate. It is not known, however, if he will play in the Bulls game Tuesday night. Matsui, who is from Japan, last played in the...

Joyce HR caps Rays' rally past Yanks

Matt Joyce hit a three-run homer off fill-in closer David Robertson in the ninth inning, falling down on a twisted ankle as he finished his swing, and the Tampa Bay Rays rallied to beat the New York Yankees 4-1 on Wednesday night. In his first chance since taking over for injured star Mariano Rivera, Robertson escaped a bases-loaded jam to save Tuesday night's 5-3 victory over...

Sabathia, Yanks finally beat Price, Rays

By the time David Price found the right pitches, it was too late for the Tampa Bay Rays. Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson homered off Price and the New York Yankees hit several other balls really hard, too, in a 5-3 win Thursday night that sent the Rays to their fourth loss in five games. ''I thought he was catching more of the plate,'' Tampa Bay manager Joe...

Rays-Orioles Preview

The Tampa Bay Rays were expected to be competing for the AL East lead. The same can't be said about the Baltimore Orioles. One of them is about to get the upper hand in the division chase, and the Rays are banking on a better performance from Jeremy Hellickson to tilt things in their favor. Hellickson takes the mound against the Orioles as the AL East co-leaders open a three...

Price, Rays struggle in finale vs. Sabathia

NEW YORK (AP) -- CC Sabathia outpitched David Price for the first time in six career matchups between the All-Star lefties, Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson homered and the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 Thursday night. The Yankees overcame a pair of early errors by third baseman Eduardo Nunez to take the series and send Tampa Bay to its fourth loss in five games...

Game 31: CC Ks 10 in Win

<a href="http://NYYUniverse.com/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-feed-statistics/feed-statistics.php?url=aHR0cDovL05ZWVVuaXZlcnNlLmNvbS9nYW1lLWRheS9nYW1lLTMxLWNjLWtzLTEwLWluLXdpbi9hdHRhY2htZW50L2dtMzFmZWF0Lw==" rel=\"attachment wp-att-6006\"> Tampa Bay Rays 3 — New York Yankees 5   Another 8 strong innings by CC gets the Yankees the 5-3 win over the Tampa...

Game 30: ‘Houdini’ Slips Up

<a href="http://NYYUniverse.com/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-feed-statistics/feed-statistics.php?url=aHR0cDovL05ZWVVuaXZlcnNlLmNvbS9nYW1lLWRheS9nYW1lLTMwLWhvdWRpbmktc2xpcHMtdXAvYXR0YWNobWVudC9nbTMwZmVhdC8=" rel=\"attachment wp-att-5941\"> Tampa Bay Rays 4 — New York Yankees 1   David Robertson’s ‘Houdini’ act was unsuccessful in tonight’s 4-1...

Sabathia outduels Price as Yankees take series from Rays

NEW YORK -- Thursday night's rubber game between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays pitted top-shelf starters CC Sabathia and David Price. In their previous five matchups, the two had truly been each other's opposite numbers: Price was 3-0 and Sabathia 0-3, with the Rays winning all five contests. This time, though, thanks to two big innings ignited by home runs...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.