What's new: After spending much of the offseason stagnant, the Orioles added slugging OF Nelson Cruz to an already potent lineup that features Chris Davis, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters, and veteran RHP Ubaldo Jimenez to their rotation. It has been a tense season already in the Charm City as the Orioles, after getting blasted by Toronto Sunday, are 5-7 with eight of their games decided by one or two runs. Their defense, with six Gold Glove finalists last year (and three winners), continues to be very good. And their bullpen, with Tommy Hunter as the closer, has thus far been effective, with Darren O'Day among those who give the Rays trouble.
Key stat: Since the start of the 2012 season, the Orioles are 25-9 in extra-inning games.
Connections: Orioles OF Delmon Young had two stints with the Rays, RHP Evan Meek was a Rays minor-leaguer. Rays RHP Grant Balfour agreed to terms with the O's this winter but failed a physical.
Series history: The Rays lead 141-136 overall, the O's lead 72-65 in Baltimore.
Marc Topkin, Times staff writer