Tampa Bay Rays fans, I know I haven’t been the only one thinking, what happened to the Baltimore Orioles? Sure, they’ve been playing baseball, but not against the Tampa Bay Rays.
For many years I remember the Tampa Bay Rays opening the season against the Orioles, which they have done on multiple occasions, or playing them in early April. Which is what sparked my research.
So, I started digging into the history of the Tampa Bay Rays. I ended up back into the days of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and came to a shocking conclusion.
The Tampa Bay Rays have never started a season series with the Orioles this late in the season.
Now, I know what you are thinking, yes they have because of the delayed start to the season last year. Now yes, you would be correct, but you would also be no fun.
Besides the 2020 COVID season, the Tampa Bay Rays have only started the season series with Baltimore Orioles in May three times in franchise history. Those years, 1998, 2012, and now 2021.
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Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Baltimore Orioles met for the first time in Rays franchise history on May 8th, 1998 at Tropicana Field. In a game that featured multiple Hall of Famers, Wade Boggs for the Rays and Roberto Alomar for the O’s, as well as Fred McGriff and Rafael Palmeiro, the Rays went on to lose 8-2.
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays would go on to win the season series with the O’s in 1998, seven games to five. This included the first four-game sweep in Rays’ history.
The Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles first met in 2012 on May 11th.
Up to that date, it was the latest the two teams had started a season series since 1998, but things had changed drastically since 1998.
Both the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles entered their May 11th game with the same record, 20-12. However, this time the season series started in Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
The Tampa Bay Rays lineup that day featured Carlos Pena, who celebrated his 43rd birthday yesterday, May 17th, Happy Belated Los!
The Orioles would end up three games better than the Rays in 2012, making it to the AL Wild Card game with a 93-69 record. They went on to beat the Texas Rangers in the Wild Card game but lost to the Yankees in ALDS three games to two.
Tonight, The Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles will start their latest season series to date, May 18th.
It will all get underway in Baltimore tonight at 7:05 EST, and the first pitch is expected from Matt Harvey. The Tampa Bay Rays are winners of their last four games, including a three-game sweep of the New York Mets.
The Baltimore Orioles are going in a different direction as they have lost four of their last five.
I hope I’m not the only one fascinated by the dates of these games. The fact the Tampa Bay Rays have only started a season series with the Orioles in May three times since 1998 is pretty cool. Especially since they play nearly 20 times a season.