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  W: V. Nuño (1-0)   L: K. Gausman (3-4)   S: A. Pruitt (1)
10:10 AM PT11:10 AM MT12:10 PM CT1:10 PM ET13:10 ET17:10 GMT1:10 10:10 AM MST12:10 PM EST12:40 PM VEN21:10 UAE12:10 PM CT, May 27, 2018
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida  Attendance: 13,311

Rays reliever Romo to start twice in 48 hours vs. Orioles

According to STATS
According to STATS

Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays

  1. After splitting their series against the White sox, the Orioles sit at 3-5 on their current road trip. After its loss to Boston on May 17, Baltimore's road record was 3-17. They have doubled their win total since and are now 6-21 on the year.
  2. Even after losing three of their last four games, the Rays record over their last 10 is 7-3. Tampa Bay started the year off going 1-8, but have gone 22-17 since with an 8-7 record against divisional foes over that span.
  3. Tampa Bay will host Baltimore for the first time this year. The teams have split the six games already played in Baltimore despite the Orioles averaging 7.5 runs to Tampa Bay's 5.8
  4. Manny Machado and Adam Jones both picked up three hits during Thursday's victory over the White Sox. They have now done this eight times; only three active pairs of teammates have accomplished this more frequently -- Altuve + Correa (10), Betts + Bogaerts (9) and Bogaerts + Pedroia (9).
  5. Among right-handed AL hitters with at least 150 total plate appearances, Matt Duffy's .932 OPS against right-handed pitchers ranks sixth. He trails the following players -- Mookie Betts (1.142), J.D. Martinez (1.087), Aaron Judge (1.061), Mike Trout (1.060) and Manny Machado (1.031).
  6. Prior to last Saturday, Sergio Romo had appeared in 588 MLB games without making a start. Romo started Saturday and Sunday, becoming the first pitcher to start on back-to-back days since C.J. Wilson in May 2012. If Romo starts this Friday and Saturday as expected, he will become the first player since Claude Osteen of the 1975 Chicago White Sox to start at least four games in a nine-day span.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 5/25/2018 thru 5/27/2018

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays' relievers-as-starters weekend experiment wraps up as Sergio Romo gets his second start in 48 hours against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday at Tropicana Field.

The Rays (24-26) have split two games with the Orioles (17-35) in non-traditional fashion, opening the game with a reliever and then getting impressively long relief from a second pitcher. Baltimore managed only three hits against three Rays pitchers in Tampa Bay's 5-1 win on Saturday.

"It's been a challenge for us all year, regardless of who's pitching the first, second, third or fourth inning," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "I wish that I could use that as an excuse."

On the more traditional side Sunday, Baltimore turns to Kevin Gausman (3-3, 3.48 ERA), who earned the win against Tampa Bay on May 11, giving up 11 hits but lasting 7 1/3 innings and allowing only two earned runs in a 9-4 Orioles win.

Last season, he was dominant against the Rays, with a 0.45 ERA in three starts, striking out 26 while walking five batters. For his career, he's a middling 6-5 with a 3.46 ERA in 15 games.

For the Rays, Saturday's surprise hero was rookie Anthony Banda, who picked up his first major league win in relief, striking out seven in 6 1/3 innings after Ryne Stanek opened the game with five outs, three by strikeout. Sunday will bring another look from Romo, who has three total innings in his three previous starts -- this after opening his career with 588 straight relief appearances.

On Friday, Romo didn't make it out of the first inning, getting two outs but giving up two hits and an earned run. Rookie reliever Ryan Yarbrough was superb in relief.

Romo is 1-1 with a 4.66 ERA this season.

"We know we are asking these guys for a lot," Rays manager Kevin Cash said of the unusual pitching strategy. "We know we are asking them to go outside of their comfort zone."

The Rays are still figuring out answers from a trade before Friday's game that sent All-Star closer Alex Colome and outfielder Denard Span (who was tied for the team lead with 28 RBIs) to Seattle for two minor league pitchers. While Saturday wasn't a save opportunity, the Rays got a perfect ninth from reliever Chaz Roe, who will be one of several options as they seek a new closer.

Carlos Gomez, back from the disabled list, replaces Span in the field and in the batting order -- he went 0-for-2 with two walks in Saturday's win. The Rays will eventually get center fielder Kevin Kiermaier back healthy as well.

A win Sunday would salvage a 3-3 homestand for the Rays, who play their next nine games on the road, at Oakland, Seattle and Washington. The Orioles return home for their next seven, against the Nationals and New York Yankees.

The two division rivals won't face each other again until late July at Camden Yards, with remaining series Aug. 7-9 and Sept. 7-9.

Updated May 26, 2018

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