Friday, June 24, 2016

Machado set to return for O's opener vs. Rays

The Orioles welcome back Manny Machado for their four-game series over three days with Tampa Bay, which begins Friday. Machado finished serving his four-game suspension after Wednesday's game for his altercation with Royals righty Yordano Ventura, but the O's had Thursday off.
Machado has shined at the plate in his fifth season in the Majors. The 23-year-old is hitting .317 with 17 home runs, 42 RBIs and 50 runs scored in 67 games.
The third baseman has struggled against the Rays in his career, though, posting a .207 average with 42 strikeouts in 59 games. And he's fared even worse against Friday's Rays starter, Matt Moore, going 3-for-19 (.158).
During Machado's absence -- in which the club played with 24 men -- the O's went 2-2.
The O's will send right-hander Yovani Gallardo (2-1, 6.26) to the mound for the second time since he returned from the disabled list what the club termed "right shoulder bicep tendinitis." He allowed one run in five innings in his first start back against Toronto.
Moore (3-4, 4.90) is coming off back-to-back strong outings for the Rays. After tossing seven scoreless innings June 12, he allowed two runs in six innings Saturday.
Three things to know about this game
• The Orioles hold a 3-2 edge over the Rays in the season series, winning both games at Camden Yards against Tampa Bay this year.
• Moore is 4-5 with a 3.84 ERA in 11 games (10 starts) against the Orioles in his career. In his lone start against Baltimore this season, he gave up three runs in seven innings and took the loss.
• O's center fielder Adam Jones has enjoyed facing Moore in his career. His .407 average off the left-hander is his best batting average against any pitcher against whom he has at least 29 plate appearances.

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