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Tampa Bay Rays series preview: vs. Baltimore Orioles

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What's new: Since the teams last met — more than 90 days ago — the Orioles (48-70) have continued to struggle and fall deeper into last place in the AL East. They've brought up prized catching prospect Matt Wieters and traded closer George Sherrill to the Dodgers, ex-Ray Aubrey Huff to the Tigers and C Gregg Zaun to the Rays. Their pitching staff has the worst ERA in the American League (5.10). They still have some exciting talent, with Adam Jones, Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis doing well atop the order.

Key stat: The Orioles led the AL in home runs allowed (151).

Connections: 3B Ty Wigginton, RHP Danny Baez and LHP Mark Hendrickson are ex-Rays. Zaun, RHP Lance Cormier and hurt RHP Chad Bradford are former Orioles.

Series history: The Rays are 3-4 against the Orioles this season after going 15-3 against them last season, which was their best record against a division opponent in team history. The Orioles lead the all-time series 100-93, but the Rays lead 51-45 at Tropicana Field.

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

Tampa Bay Rays series preview: vs. Baltimore Orioles 08/17/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 7:42am]
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