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What's new: The Orioles are 21-17 since interim manager Dave Trembley took over for the fired Sam Perlozzo on June 18. Under Trembley, a 20-year minor-league coaching veteran, the Orioles seem to have grasped fundamentals. Entering Thursday, the pitching staff had held opponents to a .247 batting average, lowest in the AL and third-best in the majors. Their .988 fielding percentage tops the AL.

Key stat: Despite trade rumors, SS Miguel Tejada is off the DL and still in a Baltimore uniform. He added punch to the middle of the lineup and is 7-for-20 since returning from the DL last week.

Who's hot: After hitting an eye-popping .351 in July with 20 RBIs and 33 hits, O's RF Nick Markakis opened August with his 11th homer of the season Wednesday.

Who's not: Rays fans know this is usually the time when Aubrey Huff heats up, but the scenery change hasn't helped the former Ray's post-break bat. He hit just .179 in July.

Connections: A bunch, with ex-Rays Danys Baez, Rob Bell, Chris Gomez, Aubrey Huff and Steve Trachsel in orange and black, plus Hillsborough product Chris Ray, who is on the DL. Rays closer Al Reyes is a former Oriole.

Series history: Orioles dominate the series 8-1 this season, 90-69 overall. The Orioles took two of three at the Trop earlier this season and are 40-39 in Tampa Bay.

Eduardo A. Encina, Times staff writer

Tonight: Rays vs. Orioles

When/where: 7:10, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg

TV/radio: Ch. 66; 1250-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

Probable pitchers: Rays - James Shields (8-6, 4.47); Orioles - Daniel Cabrera (7-11, 5.08)

Promotion: Blue Rays flex-fit hats will be given to the first 15,000 fans.

Rays tickets: $8-$210. Available at Tropicana Field box office, all Ticketmaster outlets,

Rays info: (727) 825-3250

Watch for ...

Shields on: James Shields has been a workhorse. His 151 IP are fourth in the AL, 10 shy of Cleveland's C.C. Sabathia, and he is on pace for 231 innings. Shields lasted just five innings in his last outing Saturday, but struck out seven and walked one, allowing six hits and three runs. Orioles 1B Kevin Millar has hit Shields well: 4-for-8 with two doubles.

Walk it out: Daniel Cabrera has walked an AL-high 78, and the right-hander issued five walks Sunday in his last outing, allowing four runs and six hits over six innings. He has lost three of his past four decisions and five of seven dating to mid June. Rays CF B.J. Upton is 4-for-9 against him with a homer.

On deck

Saturday: Orioles, 7:10, FSN. Rays - Scott Kazmir (7-7, 3.85); Orioles - Brian Burres (5-4, 4.12)

Sunday: Orioles, 1:40, Ch. 66. Rays - Andy Sonnanstine (1-6, 5.55); Orioles - Erik Bedard (11-4, 3.05)

Monday: at Tigers; 7:05, FSN. Rays - Edwin Jackson (2-11, 6.56); Tigers - Justin Verlander (11-4, 3.49)

Tuesday: at Tigers; 7:05, Ch. 66. Rays - Jason Hammel (1-1, 5.40); Tigers - Nate Robertson (6-9, 5.05)

Did you know?

After Wednesday's comeback win over the Blue Jays, the Rays have come from behind in 25 of their 41 wins (61 percent).

Number of the day

5 Wins by Rays reliever Gary Glover this season, two shy of his single-season high, which came with the White Sox in 2002, when he spent half the season as a starter.

Did you know, part II

With the first-inning run Toronto scored Wednesday, the Rays have been outscored 81-35 after one inning.