(SportsNetwork.com) - American League East rivals follow up a split of a double-header on Friday as the Baltimore Orioles host the Tampa Bay Rays Saturday at Camden Yards.
Baltimore remains in the hunt for first place in the division, trailing Toronto by just 1 1/2 games entering the weekend, which is why a split with the worst team in the AL was such a disappointment Friday.
In the early game, Tampa Bay, which is all alone at the bottom of the standings, limited the O's to a mere three hits in a 5-2 decision, thanks to the efforts of starter Alex Colome and the bullpen. Colome made it through 5 2/3 innings, giving up just a single runs on two hits, although he did walk four. Down the line, Jake McGee picked up his second save of the season for the Rays.
Colome, who has returned from a 50-game suspension, picked up his first win of the season as he appeared with the big club for the first time since last May.
"I'm very motivated to do the right things," Colome said. "I want to come up here and show that I belong here."
Brandon Guyer ripped three doubles and scored twice for the visitors, while Matt Joyce added two hits and knocked in a pair as well.
Kevin Gausman was saddled with the loss in the first game and was knocked around for five runs on seven hits and four walks in just five innings of action.
Manny Machado had two of his team's three hits, including his fifth home run of the season.
The Orioles rebounded nicely in the second game, thanks to starter Chris Tillman who went eight strong innings, allowing just a single run on four hits and a walk. Zach Britton came on to close out the 4-1 victory in order to earn his 10th save of the season.
"I was able to throw the fastball for strikes," Tillman said. "Any time you are able to throw to both sides of the plate and mix in your offspeed, it's kind of a recipe for success. I was able to get some early outs in the count."
Of the 10 hits logged by Baltimore, four came courtesy of Adam Jones, while Nick Hundley and Nelson Cruz both went deep for the hosts. For Hundley it was his first home run of the season, while Cruz is now tied for the major league lead with 25 home runs to this point.
Tampa Bay starter Jake Odorizzi did not factor into the decision, even through he allowed just one run on six hits over five innings. Instead, it was Juan Carlos Oviedo who was charged with his third loss in six decisions, permitting just a single run in his only inning of action.
Taking the hill for the visitors this afternoon is left-hander Erik Bedard. The native Canadian, who was drafted by Baltimore and played for the O's from 2002 to 2007, has recorded just a single win in the last eight outings, a 4-0 victory over his other previous employer, the Seattle Mariners.
Last weekend Bedard failed to earn a decision for the second time in his last three appearances, allowing two runs on seven hits, while striking out eight, over 5 1/3 innings at home versus Houston.
Bedard has pitched against the Orioles seven times previously and has a 1-2 record to go along with an inflated 6.30 ERA in 30 innings.
Baltimore plans to counter with Wei-Yin Chen. Now in his third season with the O's, the left-hander from Taiwan has delivered four wins in as many decisions and has not suffered defeat since going down at Minnesota (6-1) on May 3. However, Chen has failed to reach a decision in two straight and three of his last four outings, including Monday's meeting with the Chicago White Sox.
Chen made it through 5 2/3 innings when hosting the Sox, giving up three runs on six hits and a pair of walks, while fanning just three.
Chen, who turned 29 just last week, has a career mark of 3-3 with a 2.98 ERA in 10 starts versus Tampa Bay.