Orioles hold on after 4-run 1st, beat Rays 6-5
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Even after his team nearly blew a big lead, Baltimore manager Buck Showalter was feeling good.
Adam Jones drove in two with a double during a four-run first inning, and the Orioles hung on to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-5 Tuesday night.
''Not tough at all when you win,'' Showalter said when asked how it was getting through the game. ''6-0, nobody thinks the game is over by any chance. We know them. They're going to play hard and keep trying.''
Steve Pearce homered for the second straight game, a two-run drive that made it 6-0 in the second for the Orioles, who won Monday's opener 6-2. Pearce, from nearby Lakeland, has five homers in his last 11 games at Tropicana Field.
Baltimore's Chris Davis went 0 for 3, including an eighth-inning fly to the warning track, and was hit by a pitch as the designated hitter in his return after a 25-game suspension for a positive amphetamine test. Showalter said Davis will play first base in Wednesday night's series finale.
''The first couple at-bats I was pretty fired up,'' Davis said. ''I was over-swinging a little bit. As the game progressed I settled down a little bit. Took some better swings. Definitely a little rusty, but felt good to be back in there.''
Tampa Bay got two-run homers from Logan Forsythe and Kevin Kiermaier.
Forsythe cut the deficit to 6-3 with a home run that culminated an 11-pitch at-bat in the fourth against Wei-Yin Chen, who allowed three runs and four hits in 4 1-3 innings.
Kiermaier made it 6-5 with his homer off Kevin Gausman (1-0) during the sixth.
Zach Britton struck out three straight batters in a perfect ninth for his first save.
New Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash has lost his first two games. He replaced Joe Maddon, who exercised an opt-out clause during the offseason and became manager of the Chicago Cubs.
Travis Snider had an RBI single and Manny Machado hit a sacrifice fly in the first off Nathan Karns (0-1), who gave up six runs and five hits in 5 2-3 innings.
''I tried to do too much in the first two, tried to make pitch sequences that I don't normally try to do,'' Karns said. ''But that's just the learning curve.''
Acquired from Pittsburgh in January, Snider has three RBIs in his first two games with the Orioles.
Orioles: SS J.J. Hardy, on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder, could start an injury rehabilitation assignment next week at Class A Frederick.
Rays: 1B James Loney was a late scratch due to a right side injury. ... RHP Alex Cobb said he had his best day playing catch since being sidelined last month by right forearm tendinitis. There is no timetable for when Cobb might throw off a mound. ... DH John Jaso still had soreness and restricted movement one day after spraining his left wrist sliding in the first inning.
Tampa Bay RHP Steve Geltz faced four batters and struck them all out in Monday's opener. The Rays said Geltz became the first pitcher since records were first available in 1914 to pitch more than one inning and strike out every batter he faced on opening day.
''It's pretty exciting,'' he said. ''It's unreal.''
Geltz didn't have a strikeout, but got a double-play grounder from Jones, in a scoreless inning Tuesday.
Snider walked in his three other plate appearances Tuesday after going 3 for 4 in the opener.
Orioles: RHP Miguel Gonzalez is Wednesday night's starter against the Rays.
Rays: RHP Jake Odorizzi will face the Orioles on Wednesday night.