May 6, 2011
A: Baltimore Orioles
W: James Shields (3-1) 2.01 ERA
L: Zach Britton (5-2) 2.93 ERA
The Rays started a six game road trip in Baltimore tonight and they face an old nemesis in Zach Britton. On April 3rd, Britton made his major league debut and beat the Rays to complete a three game sweep for Baltimore. Tonight, another guy was making his major league debut. Brandon Guyer, playing in his hometown, hit a two run homer in his first plate appearance that gave the Rays a 3-0 lead. Guyer was another piece the Rays got back from the Cubs in the Matt Garza trade. He started the year in Triple A with the Durham Bulls and had been hitting .356/.412/.606 before he got called up to the show. He worked the count to 3-1 in that at bat before dropping the bat head on a low pitch and sending a no-doubt blast to left field. Incredibly, he didn’t even take a full swing.
James Shields started tonight and continued his string of dominant outings. As well as he has pitched, he still had only two wins coming into tonight because of a lack of run support. You almost know that if he gets a few runs early of support, the game is over. With that early 3-0 lead, he went to work. The only dent in his outing a fifth inning solo homer by Derrek Lee. He pitched into the eighth for the fourth straight game before being relieved by Joel Peralta with one out. Shields lowered his ERA to 2.01 after giving up a run in 7.1 innings with five strikeouts. He earned a big hug from David Price tonight.
Johnny Damon hit a homer in the ninth to ice the game for the Rays and took the first game of this three game set 6-2.
Players of the Game: Brandon Guyer and James Shields