Sports columnist Peter Schmuck discusses what moves the Orioles need to make to improve in the 2nd half of the season. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)

Orioles (51-36) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (34-54)

Where: Tropicana Field


First pitch: 7:10 p.m.

TV/Radio: MASN2, WJZ/105.7 The Fan

Starting pitchers: Orioles RHP Yovani Gallardo (3-1, 5.82 ERA) vs. Rays RHP Chris Archer (4-12, 4.66 ERA)

What to watch

  1. Second-half starter: Gallardo heads back to the mound Friday saddled with the worst season ERA of his career at 5.82. Manager Buck Showalter believes Gallardo will rebound in the second half of the season, and he gets to show whether he can Friday. Part of his issue stems from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for almost two months. Can Gallardo be the first step in stabilizing the Orioles’ rotation?
  2. Reeling Rays: The Rays come into Friday’s game on a 3-22 slide that has sent them down near the bottom of the American League. The Orioles are 7-2 against them this season, having pulled off a four-game sweep in late June by a combined score of 31-14. Friday kicks off a 14-game stretch with 11 games against opponents at .500 or below. After that, the Orioles head off to Toronto for a three-game set against the contending Blue Jays, so they’d be wise to pad their lead this weekend against the Rays.
  3. Donnie’s debut? The Orioles’ bullpen shuffle continues after the team called up left-handed reliever Donnie Hart from Double-A Bowie. Hart, 25, pitched to a 2.31 ERA in 33 outings with the Baysox. He brings left-handed help to a roster missing injured southpaws Brian Duensing and T.J. McFarland. He also replaces Dylan Bundy’s arm in the bullpen after the news Bundy will start Sunday in Tampa Bay. How long will Hart last in the big leagues?

Orioles lineup

CF Adam Jones

2B Jonathan Schoop

3B Manny Machado

1B Chris Davis

RF Mark Trumbo

C Matt Wieters

SS J.J. Hardy

DH Pedro Alvarez

LF Joey Rickard

Recommended on Baltimore Sun