Perhaps the biggest question heading into the Rays-Orioles game scheduled for Tuesday is the weather: It looks bad.
Rays manager Joe Maddon played meteorologist on Monday when he talked about the prospects for Tuesday's game.
"I'm looking at the weather report and it's not looking very good for tomorrow, although [Wednesday] does look pretty good," Maddon said. "We'll see. But you play them one at a time. We'll see how it all plays out. It looks pretty nasty tomorrow."
If the game is played, Jake Odorizzi will start for the Rays against Miguel Gonzalez of the Orioles.
Odorizzi will try to rebound from Wednesday's start when he pitched three scoreless innings before giving up a career-high seven runs in the fourth and fifth.
Odorizzi and Maddon both thought Odorizzi's stuff was good and that he simply got bit by the fortunes of baseball, particularly in regard to a three-run homer by Alex Gordon that got up into the wind and blew out over the wall in right-center field at Kauffman Stadium.
The seven runs were the most allowed by a Rays starter since Jeremy Hellickson gave up eight runs against the Royals on June 13, 2013, a total matched by Chris Archer in the series opener on Monday, which the Orioles won, 7-1.
"I talked to him and I said, 'Listen, man, don't be confused, you threw the ball well,'" Maddon said. "Sometimes you go through some tough moments because the other teams are pros, too.
"You have to really evaluate it for what it is to see exactly what's going on. Because I don't want ... guys who are throwing the ball well, and because they have a little bit of a bad run going against them, think they have to change anything. Just keep doing what you're doing and it's going to come back to you."
Odorizzi did not feel well Monday night, so he remained at the team hotel rather that heading to Camden Yards.
Gonzalez is off to a rough start this season after allowing 10 earned runs in 9 1/3 innings, though he gave the Orioles a quality start his last time out when he held the Yankees to three runs in six innings on Thursday in New York.
Orioles: Tough AL East
Buck Showalter talked about the American League East on Monday, and it was no surprise when the Orioles manager spoke about how close the division race will be again this season.
"I get a little bit disappointed with myself when I make too much out of a day," Showalter said. "Wasn't much fun [Sunday when the Orioles lost 11-3 to the Blue Jays]. But we live in a bubble of today's game. And then you got to move on. It'll separate itself at some point. When, I don't know. But I'm looking forward to see if we can be a part of [the race]."
Monday night was the first of 19 games between the Orioles and Rays this season. Showalter noted that the Rays were the model for consistency in the AL East.
Rays: Optimism for season
The Rays lost two of their five starting pitchers (Alex Cobb and Matt Moore) to the disabled list this past week, which has moved the discussion to the bad shape the Rays now find themselves early in the season. Maddon managed a smile when asked about the banter.
"Of course, that's how it should be," Maddon said. "The chatter should be out there, should be taking on different tones, absolutely. But from my perspective, I believe we're fine. I believe we'll be able to work through it. We've done it in the past. This is when you create conjecture. It's wonderful. It's a big part of our game. I understand [why things are being said], but from our perspective, my perspective, it's about the 25 guys who are available today. … Sometimes adversity brings out the best in all of us."
• Orioles third baseman Manny Machado ran six sprints at 90 feet on Monday at the team's Spring Training complex, a big step of progress in his recovery from October's left knee surgery.
"He's feeling good," Showalter said of Machado. "I think they are going to 180 feet tomorrow, starting to run the bases a little bit more."
• Delmon Young had two outfield assists for the Orioles on Sunday, the 56th time in Orioles history an outfielder had two or more assists in a game and the first time since Adam Jones had two on Sept. 28, 2011, against Boston.
• Maddon batted first baseman Sean Rodriguez ninth in the starting lineup Sunday, with left-hander Cesar Rodriguez in the eighth spot. According to the Rays' public relations staff, it marked the first time a first baseman hit ninth in a lineup without the DH since May 28, 1926, when Phillies manager Art Fletcher hit first baseman Wally Kimmick ninth and left-hander Jack Bentley fifth.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.