April 16, 2014

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles are looking to complete a four-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday before embarking on an extended West Coast road trip.

The Orioles took both games of a doubleheader on Saturday, handing the Rays a season-high 10th straight loss. The Orioles dominated first game 5-0 and then overcame a four-run deficit in the nightcap for an 8-6 win.

"Sometimes you go into it just hoping your pitching staff stays intact and you're able to split and live to fight another day," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "The tough part of it is, after you've won a game and you're kind of playing with house money."

Baltimore travels to San Diego on Tuesday to open the nine-game road trip that also includes games against the Mariners and Dodgers. Baltimore will enter that tough stretch confident after another successful homestand. The Orioles are a season-high 14 games over .500 (44-30).

"Playing nine innings," said Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, who had two homers in the second game Saturday. "It doesn't matter if we're up early or down early. We're going to play nine innings and see where we're at the end."

The Rays can attribute some of their woes to a roster that has been hampered with injuries. Tampa Bay has seven players currently on the disabled list, including four outfielders -- Brandon Guyer, Kevin Kiermaier, Mikie Mahtook and Steven Souza Jr.

Still, third baseman Evan Longoria insisted the team should be playing better.

"It's tough. There's no way around it right now," Longoria said. "We're not swinging the bats. We're asking a lot of some guys who don't have a whole lot of experience at the major league level. Obviously, it's about winning. We want to win. We come to the ballpark every day expecting to win. In this moment, we just have to trust in the process and trust it's going to get better.

The Rays are looking to get a boost with left-hander Drew Smyly, who has been dominant against the Orioles. Smyly has been especially effective at Camden Yards, where he is 2-0 with 0.82 ERA in four games (three starts). Over 22 innings in Baltimore, Smyly has allowed 12 hits, two earned runs, five walks and 25 strikeouts.

"I enjoy pitching everywhere," Smyly said. "I've had good success here. Hopefully, I can keep it going. It's always a pretty good atmosphere that gets the adrenaline going. It's usually a fun place to pitch."

Smyly will face another challenge from Baltimore's powerful lineup. The Orioles have slugged a major league-best 117 home runs this season. Smyly plans to remain aggressive.

"Most outs usually come down to one or two at-bats, a pitch here, a pitch there can change the outcome of the game," Smyly said. "This game changes quick. You just have to keep attacking and hope the ball falls your way."

The Orioles will counter with Tyler Wilson, who is looking to build on what has been a promising rookie campaign. Wilson is 3-5 with a 4.19 ERA, but has allowed just three runs over his past two outings (14 innings).

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