Both the Tampa Bay Rays and the Baltimore Orioles are tied, two and a half games behind the final wild card spot in the American League. Despite that, the Rays seem to be the hotter team, on the verge of sweeping the Orioles after taking the first two games of the series, including a 10-1 thrashing on Wednesday.
Part of that success for the Rays was by acquisition Ryan Roberts. Though he only had two official at bats, he hit a home run and scored three runs in the victory. On Thursday, the Rays go for the sweep with James Shields (8-6, 4.39 ERA) starting on the hill. In his last start on July 20 against the Seattle Mariners, Shields went seven and two-thirds innings, allowing three runs on four hits and striking out 10 in a no decision.
The Orioles will counter with Chris Tillman (2-1, 1.15). He is coming of a start on July 21 against the Cleveland Indians where he went six and two-thirds innings, allowing only one run on six hits and striking out four.
The game is scheduled for a 12:35 p.m. first pitch from Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Television coverage will be provided by MLB Network nationally, Sunshine Sports Network locally and radio coverage provided by 620 WDAE AM.