Evan Longoria is trying to make the best out of a disappointing season, going 9-for-26 with seven RBIs on the first six games of the road trip for the Tampa Bay Rays. Longoria, who has knocked in 14 runs in his last 13 contests, tries to stay hot as the visiting Rays vie for a split of a four-game series with the first-place Baltimore Orioles on Thursday. The former All-Star recorded three hits in Tampa Bay's 3-1 victory on Wednesday to raise his batting average to just .255.While the Rays are struggling to stay alive in the playoff chase, the Orioles lead the second-place New York Yankees by six games in the American League East. Baltimore lost four of its last six contests, but received a good sign as slumping slugger Chris Davis homered for the second time in three games Wednesday. Bud Norris goes for his fourth victory in August for the Orioles and will oppose Jeremy Hellickson, who is 9-4 in his career against Baltimore.TV: 7:05 p.m. ET; Sun Sports (Tampa Bay), MASN (Baltimore)PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays RH Jeremy Hellickson (1-2, 2.61 ERA) vs. Orioles RH Bud Norris (11-8, 3.91)Hellickson has yielded two or fewer runs in five of his seven starts since returning from elbow surgery, including his last outing against Toronto when he gave up two in 6 1/3 innings. The Iowa native has limited opponents to a .224 batting average. Adam Jones is 14-for-42 with four homers against Hellickson, who owns a 3.25 ERA in 17 appearances (15 starts) versus the Orioles.Norris saw his three-game winning streak end last Saturday, allowing four runs in two innings against the Chicago Cubs in a start shortened by a rain delay. The 29-year-old California native is 8-3 since June 1, but has a 5.12 ERA in four August starts. James Loney is 9-for-18 in his career versus Norris, who is 1-2 in five appearances (four starts) with a 3.96 ERA against Tampa Bay.WALK-OFFS1. The Orioles are 32-20 against AL East opponents, winning 10 of 15 games versus Tampa Bay to clinch the season series.2. Tampa Bay LHP Jake McGee has converted 15 of 16 save opportunities and boasts 80 strikeouts in 62 innings.3. Baltimore 1B-OF Steve Pearce is 14-for-41 with four homers and five RBIs during a career-best 10-game hitting streak.PREDICTION: Orioles 5, Rays 3