Baltimore 2, Tampa Bay 6
Box Score / Play-By-Play / AP Recap
Baltimore fell last night to the Rays in the first Friday home game of the season in front of 20,694 purchased tickets and slightly less in attendance. The game immediately became a struggled after Zach Britton gave up three runs on two hard hit balls (a double to BJ Upton and a home run to Brandon Guyer). In the Orioles first 31 games, 16 have ended with them scoring three or fewer runs. This club has been largely producing with a low on base average (.296, 13th in AL) and poor contact (.236, 10th in AL). An offense this enemic needs a strong defense. The Orioles' is rather average (-3 DRS, -0.3 UZR). The team is also dependent on a bullpen that has also been unimpressive (5.58 FIP, last in AL by 0.72). Returning from that aside, Britton calmed down outside of that inning, but was forced out in the sixth inning due to fatigue. The Orioles were able to put a couple runs up on the board and the pen gave up three more. The hope that Britton gives everyone with each of his starts was not rewarded today and Jeremy Guthrie comes to the mound tonight to avoid a three game slide.
Stat of the game
7 out of 21
That's is how well Zach Britton did with managing first pitch strikes. Britton often was pitching behind the count while not hit his spots cleanly. This forced him into deeper counts and being lifted only one out into the sixth inning.
Orioles Game ball
Derrek Lee (1-3, home run, BB)
MiLB game balls
Norfolk (Box) - Nolan Reimold, LF (2-4, HR (4), BB)
Bowie (Box) - Ronnie Welty, RF (3-4, HR (4), 2B (3), BB)
Frederick (Box) - Kenny Moreland, RP (3 IP, 1 H, 2 SO)
Delmarva (Box) - Clayton Schrader (3.1 IP, 1 H, 6 SO, 1 BB).
Three Morning Links
MASN's Roch Kubatko provided an update on Manny Machado and his dislocation.
David Zurawik at the Baltimore Sun reports that MASN ratings have increased so far compared to last year.
Steve Slowinski mentions how one may view small sample size and what it means for this season. Vladimir Guerrero swing rate on first pitches makes an appearance..
The O's are in the middle of a three game set with Tampa holding a tenuous 0.5 game lead of fourth place over the Boston Red Sox. Jeremy Guthrie (4.24 xFIP, 132 ERA+) will attempt to get Baltimore back on track against a red hot Jeremy Hekkickson (4.39 xFIP, 86 ERA+). 1:10 pm Eastern start.