Rookie Adley Rutschman looks to continue his recent hot hitting on Saturday when the host Baltimore Orioles vie for a series win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Rutschman has reached base in eight straight games and collected five hits over his last three. He had an RBI single in the seventh inning in Baltimore’s 1-0 win over Tampa Bay on Friday in the opener of a three-game set.
“I’m just going pitch to pitch, AB to AB, and trying to make adjustments as I go,” the 24-year-old Rutschman said. “As long as I can do that, I’m going to continue to get better and continue to work on my process.”
Rutschman has three extra-base hits (two doubles, homer), four RBIs and three runs over his last three games. The top overall pick of the 2019 draft out of Oregon State, Rutschman went 8-for-54 with 14 strikeouts over his previous 15 games.
Rutschman’s RBI single plated Ryan Mountcastle, who had just extended his hitting streak to seven games with a one-out double to left-center field.
Baltimore will look for its sixth win in eight outings on Saturday when it sends rookie right-hander Kyle Bradish (1-4, 6.86 ERA) to the mound.
Bradish, 25, fell to 0-3 in his last six starts on Monday after allowing five runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings of an 11-1 shellacking by Toronto.
“I don’t think I made too many mistakes (against the Blue Jays), but they still took advantage of balls that just caught the corners,” Bradish said.
Bradish will be making his 10th career start and second versus Tampa Bay. He permitted five runs on as many hits — including two homers — in a 6-1 setback on May 21.
The Rays are expected to receive a boost with the return of Kevin Kiermaier to their lineup. The outfielder is expected to be back on Saturday after missing two straight games due to left Achilles/calf tightness.
Tampa Bay will look to snap a season high-tying four-game losing skid on Saturday when it sends left-hander Jeffrey Springs (3-2, 1.45) to the mound. He is 2-2 with a 1.85 ERA in eight starts this season.
Springs, 29, enters Saturday’s tilt on the strength of two consecutive scoreless performances. He scattered six hits over six innings in a no-decision versus St. Louis on June 7 before picking up the win five days later after allowing two hits in 5 1/3 frames at Minnesota.
“He’s not doing anything different start to start, it’s pretty consistent,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “Most of your good pitchers are consistent with how they go about it. I just think he’s putting himself (in a position) where he’s pitching with confidence and his stuff is good. And throwing early strikes, that’s going to help any pitcher.”
Springs is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in three appearances (one start) versus Baltimore this season. All told, he is 3-0 with a 1.02 ERA in 11 career appearances against the Orioles.
–Field Level Media