May 8, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles left fielder Steve Pearce (28) is congratulated by shortstop J.J. Hardy (2) after he hit a 2-run home run during the second inning against the Tampa Bay Raysat Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Orioles Sweep Tampa Bay Rays


 

The Baltimore Orioles defeated the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday evening in Florida to complete a sweep of their three-game series.

Along with two earlier wins in Baltimore over the Rays, the Orioles are now 5-0 against their most pesky divisional rival, against whom the Birds were 6-13 last year.

It is an extra bonus for the O’s to beat Tampa Bay’s David Price – something that has only ever happened twice before.

After the Rays jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning off Ubaldo Jimenez, Steve Pearce would provide a winning margin for the Orioles with a two-run homer in the top of the second. Jonathan Schoop would single home an insurance run in the fourth inning on the way to a 3-1 victory.

Jimenez was not as sharp as his most previous outing. Again his pitch count elevated quickly due to a lack of command, but he was able to make enough good pitches to keep the Rays from crossing the plate but once. Jimenez lasted for 5.1 innings.

Good defense with critical double plays, and sufficient relief pitching frustrated the Rays inning after inning. Tampa Bay was 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

A critical inning in the game was the sixth frame. The Baltimore Orioles were in a position to break the game open, as they loaded with bases with none out. Price was lifted and Brad Boxberger brought in relief. Nine pitches later, three Birds had struck out swinging. It was an amazing sight.

Coming to bat in the bottom of the sixth, the Rays chased Jimenez by getting runners at first and third bases with one out. But Ryan Webb was able to induce two ground balls with his sinker, and the Orioles were out of the inning.

Tampa Bay would threaten over and over, but never score again. The Rays had runners on base in seven of the nine innings, including two in the ninth … though Darren O’Day was able to completely imitate Tommy Hunter by bending without breaking, gaining the save.

So with 32 games completed on the season, the Orioles are 18-14 at this point. This marks 20% through the schedule. And at this pace the Baltimore Orioles would finish 91-71.

Houston comes to Baltimore for the weekend to begin a six-game homestand. On Friday night, Wei-Yin Chen will pitch for the O’s against former teammate Steve Feldman.

Over his first six starts, Chen is 3-2 with an ERA of 4.24. He has only ever once pitched against the Astros – winning on July 30th of last year while pitching 7.1 innings and giving up three runs on six hits. Three of those six hits were by Robbie Grossman.

After getting his $30 million / 3 years contract from the Astros, Scott Feldman was great over his first four starts with an ERA of 1.69. However, he has had tendonitis problems and has not pitched since April 17th. Here are his 2014 seasonal and historical numbers against the Orioles, and career statistics…

W

L

ERA

G

GS

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

2014 Stats

2

1

1.69

4

4

26.2

16

6

5

0

9

9

Vs. Orioles

4

1

3.86

12

6

44.1

55

20

19

2

11

19

MLB Career

53

57

4.54

238

135

936.0

954

520

472

101

317

574

 

As can be seen from historic matchups, Adam Jones is only 1-for-15 against Feldman. Others have better numbers, but none have ever hit a homer off him.

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

BA

OBP

Nick Markakis

21

6

3

0

0

2

1

0

.286

.318

Adam Jones

15

1

0

0

0

0

1

4

.067

.125

Delmon Young

16

4

2

1

0

2

0

1

.250

.250

Matt Wieters

10

3

0

0

0

0

0

2

.300

.300

Nelson Cruz

6

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

.333

.333

J.J. Hardy

3

1

1

0

0

1

0

1

.333

.333

David Lough

3

2

0

0

0

1

0

0

.667

.667

Manny Machado

2

2

0

1

0

1

0

0

1.000

1.000

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Baltimore Orioles Steve Pearce