After going 10-8 against the Rays in 2012, the Orioles have really struggled against Tampa Bay, going 6-13 in 2013 and losing 11 games out of the past 13. Out of all the tough teams in the AL East, the Orioles definitely have the most trouble beating the Rays. Whether it’s because of how well they pitch or how well Joe Maddon manages his defense, the fact of the matter is that the Rays give Baltimore fits.
If the Orioles want to win the division, they’re going to have to be more successful against the always-tough Rays. On Monday, the Orioles faced one of the Rays’ best pitchers, Chris Archer, who came into the game with a 1-0 record and a 1.38 ERA in 13 innings pitched. However, the Orioles just didn’t care. Baltimore’s bats chased Archer after only five innings pitched, scoring seven runs on 12 hits.
The Orioles also got production out of their starter. Wei-Yin Chen was fantastic on the mound, retiring the first 10 batters he faced while his offense staked him a six-run lead. Chen eventually pitched 6.1 innings, allowing only one run on five hits. While Chen definitely seemed to run out of gas as the game progressed, his success is also good news for the Baltimore faithful.
A combined outstanding performance from the Orioles’ pitchers and hitters will give the team an enormous amount of confidence moving forward to help them forget about their past struggles against the Rays and defeat Tampa Bay in their quest for a pennant in 2014.