Orioles drop series opener 6-2 to Rays

The offense could not get to Tampa Bay pitching on the rainy night.

After sweeping the Rays in the first meeting of the season, the O's fell to Tampa Bay 6-2. Zach Britton got his second loss while James Shields recorded the win.

The Rays jumped out early, starting off the second with back-to-back doubles to right field by Evan Longoria and B.J. Upton to give them the one run lead. They added two more in the inning when Brandon Guyer blasted a home run over the left field wall in his first major league at-bat.

Derrek Lee put Baltimore on the board in the sixth with a solo shot in the sixth.

The Rays got the run back in the eighth when Longoria lead off the inning with a walk and was driven in by an RBI single by Kelly Shoppach. Then in the ninth, after an infield hit by Ben Zobrist, Johnny Damon launched a homer to the flag court to add two more to the Tampa Bay lead.

Back-to-back doubles in the ninth by Vladimir Guerrero and Luke Scott gave the Orioles their second run of the ninth with two outs.

After a 30 pitch second inning, Britton settled down and dealt with the continuous rain to last 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on four hits in his shortest outing of his career. Britton allowed only one run in the first and second innings in his first six starts. He was taken out due to a high pitch count of 95 as he walked one and struck out four. Of the 21 batters he faced, Britton went to 3-0 eight times. However, he faced the minimum three batters in three of his innings. He has had a decision in all his starts.

Jason Berken came on to relieve Britton and finish the sixth, giving up back-to-back singles and throwing a wild pitch before recording the last two outs. He stayed on in the seventh to get two outs after allowing another single and a walk. Clay Rapada took the mound to finish the inning in one batter and leaving two in scoring position. Jeremy Accardo came out of the pen in the eighth, giving up one run on a hit and two walks. Koji Uehara pitched the ninth inning, giving up two runs on two hits—including a home run. It was Uehara's third long ball in his 11.2 innings pitched on the season. The Orioles bullpen has surrendered more homers than any other pen with 22.

Shields gave up one run on three hits over 7.1 innings of work. He allowed three walks and got five strike outs on 103 pitches. Joel Peralta took over to get the last two outs of the eighth by getting Brian Roberts to ground into the double play. He stayed on in the ninth to get two outs but allowing a run on two hits. Brandon Gomes faced one batter to end the game.

Oriole offense could not figure out Tampa Bay pitching as they only got five hits, with four of them being for extra bases including two doubles by Guerrero, who was the only Oriole with a multi-hit game. Mark Reynolds, Robert Andino, and Lee all drew free passes on the night. There were four innings where the Birds were sat down in order, two of which were ended on ground out double plays.

Jeremy Guthrie (1-4) will take the mound in tomorrow's middle game, still looking for his second win of the season. He will face Jeremy Hellickson (2-2).

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