MLB

Rays-Orioles Preview

While Jake Odorizzi has been exceptionally reliable for the Tampa Bay Rays, the offense supporting him has not returned the favor.

With their long losing streak finally over, the visiting Rays will look to scratch across some runs for Odorizzi on Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles.

Odorizzi (3-5, 2.31 ERA) has been outstanding in May, posting a 2.20 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in five outings. But he hasn't won any of his last four, with Tampa Bay (25-25) scoring just five runs in that stretch.

Odorizzi's run-support average for the season is 2.17, which ranks as the second-lowest in the majors. He surrendered two runs - one earned - in seven innings Monday for his fifth consecutive quality start, but fell to Seattle 4-1.

"Odo was exactly consistent again with what he does," manager Kevin Cash told MLB's official website. "Goes out there and gives up two runs. ... Just incredible how consistent he's been throughout the year."

Odorizzi didn't need much help April 8 in his season debut, holding Baltimore to two hits over 6 2-3 innings in a 2-0 home win. That was a far cry from his last trip to Camden Yards on Aug. 25, when he gave up career highs of eight runs, 11 hits and four homers in four innings of a 9-1 loss.

He'll take the mound Sunday following an excellent outing from Erasmo Ramirez, who tossed seven scoreless innings to beat Baltimore 3-0 and end the Rays' six-game losing streak.

Steven Souza Jr. hit a home run for the second consecutive game and Joey Butler smacked his third homer in the victory.

''It's nice to get a big lead and hold it,'' Cash said. ''The guys played really good defense behind Erasmo. A good, solid ballgame on our part.''

Chris Tillman (2-6, 5.59) takes the mound for Baltimore (23-25) also looking to snap a losing streak. The right-hander has dropped his last five decisions and has not won since April 18, though he has shown noticeable improvement of late.

After posting a 6.34 ERA through his first seven starts, Tillman has a 2.70 mark in his last two. He allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings Tuesday, falling to Houston 4-1.

"Lot of positives, defensively and the way I was able to execute some pitches," Tillman said. "All four of them were there for the most part."

Two of Tillman's best starts this season came on the road against the Rays. He's allowed three runs and just seven hits over 13 2-3 innings, and is 3-1 with a 1.26 ERA in his last four starts in the series.

Tillman, like many pitchers, has had trouble dealing with Evan Longoria. Tampa's star third baseman is 15 for 38 (.395) with six homers and three doubles in their matchups.

The Orioles' last 10 losses have come when they've scored two or fewer runs, and Chris Davis is 3 for 38 in those contests.

Davis is batting .324 with a 1.179 OPS and 23 RBIs in 22 wins. He figures to play a major role again Sunday, especially if Adam Jones cannot go. Jones missed Saturday's contest with an injured left ankle and is day to day.

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