Rays Avoid Rain, Beat O’s 9-6
June 12, 2011
A: Baltimore Orioles
W: Wade Davis (5-5) 4.81 ERA
L: Brian Matusz (1-1) 5.11 ERA
S: J.P. Howell (1) 10.50 ERA
The hit parade continued today as the Rays played keep away from the Orioles. Tampa Bay scored three times in the first. It was an inning that included a lead-off Johnny Damon four stolen bases by the Rays. The Orioles countered in the first with back-to-back homers by Adam Jones and Vladimir Guerrero. Wade Davis, on the hill for Tampa, was very fortunate that only two runs scored. J.J. Hardy led off the game with a single, but then Nick Markakis lined hard right to Casey Kotchman who stepped on first for an easy double play.
The Rays added single tallies in the second and third but really could have scored a lot more runs. B.J. Upton hit a drive that was just a few feet away from a grand slam. Davis and the Orioles’ reliever Alfredo Simon pitched well in the middle innings before the two teams started scoring runs late.
Kelly Shoppach, who picked up two hits today, drove in two with a single down the left field line in the seventh. Evan Longoria circled the bases for a two-run inside the park home run in the eighth. However, the Orioles drew within 9-6 thanks to a Luke Scott homer, after eight.
Davis pitched pretty well, but like last Sunday, his line (6 IP, five hits, four earnies) is less than impressive.
Juan Cruz came out to finish the game instead of Kyle Farnsworth. He allowed a single by Matt Wieters and then was replace by J.P. Howell. It was Howell’s first appearance on consecutive days since he came back from an injury. Howell got a fly out and then a double play to end the game. The Rays raced off the field to avoid the downpour. It’s good the game ended as quickly as it did or it might have been delayed for a while.
Howell earned his first save of the year in a role that many thought he would end up in before mid-season. No one could dream that Farnsworth would be pitching as well as he has. Hopefully nothing is wrong with the big righthander.
The Rays have now split 12 games with the Orioles. In typical 2011 Rays fashion, they have won 5 of 6 on the road and lost 5 of 6 at home to Baltimore.
Players of the Game: The top of the order. Johnny Damon, Ben Zobrist and Justin Ruggiano combined for seven hits and set up Longoria who drove in three. The past two games the Rays have come combined for 16 runs and 29 hits after getting shutout on three hits on Friday.