What's new: The last-place Orioles (40-74) entered Thursday having won eight of their first nine games under new manager Buck Showalter, above, including three in walk-off fashion. They've been bolstered by the return of several players from the disabled list, including C Matt Wieters, LF/DH Luke Scott and 2B Brian Roberts. Baltimore's offense, which still ranks second-to-last in the American League, is batting .308 and averaging 5.3 runs a game in Showalter's first nine games. The Orioles entered Thursday with the league's worst ERA (5.03).
Key stat: The Rays are 16-5 in their last 21 home games against the Orioles.
Connections: Orioles infielders Julio Lugo and Ty Wigginton and LHP Mark Hendrickson are ex-Rays. Rays RHP Lance Cormier is a former Oriole.
Series history: The Rays lead the season series 7-2, and the overall series 107-106, including 58-48 at Tropicana Field.
Joe Smith, Times staff writer