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Tampa Bay at Baltimore

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Tampa Bay (3-3) «04004012011170
Baltimore (4-2)000000003360

Rays avoid sweep with blowout, but Maddon still looking for more

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BALTIMORE -- Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon has been complaining lately about his team getting too many homers, too many strikeouts and not enough solid hits with runners in scoring position.

In an 11-3 rout of the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, the Rays hit four home runs and went 6-for-13 with runners in scoring position. As a bonus, Tampa Bay got a fine pitching performance from James Shields.

But the Rays struck out 11 times. So, even after Tampa Bay compiled a season-high 17 hits, Maddon wasn't satisfied.

"We have to do a little bit better job of situational hitting, driving runners in from third with less than two outs," Maddon said. "That happens more through line drives and ground balls than fly balls."

Despite Maddon's nitpicking, the defending AL champions were content to end their first road trip with a 3-3 record, especially because Sunday's win enabled Tampa Bay to avoid a three-game sweep. The Rays open the home portion of their schedule Monday night against the New York Yankees.

"I think everybody did a good job of rebounding from the last couple of days. We feel pretty comfortable," said Ben Zobrist, who hit a three-run homer. "Going into our home opener it would have been tough to lose three straight here."

Evan Longoria hit his major league-leading fifth home run, and Jason Bartlett and Carlos Pena also connected for the Rays. All four homers came off Brian Bass, who allowed seven runs in 3 1/3 innings of relief.

Longoria went 3-for-5 to up his batting average to .481. He has five straight multihit games and at least one RBI in five of his six starts.

Shields (1-1) allowed three hits in seven innings, struck out three and walked one. It was a solid bounce-back performance for the right-hander, who gave up five runs in 5 1/3 innings in Tampa Bay's season-opening 5-3 loss to Boston.

"I really didn't do too much different today," Shields said. "I got here a little bit earlier, that's about it."

Dan Wheeler allowed one hit in the eighth before Grant Balfour was tagged for three runs in the ninth.

Luke Scott and Felix Pie had the lone RBI for the Orioles, who take to the road after going 4-2 against the Yankees and Rays. Baltimore's two defeats are by a combined 22-5 score.

"I think you've got to just accept today for what it was and move on," manager Dave Trembley said.

Added to the 25-man roster before the game, Adam Eaton (0-1) allowed four runs and eight hits over four innings in his debut with Baltimore. Ten of the 21 batters he faced reached base, two on walks, and he ended up throwing 100 pitches.

"I wasn't laboring. Laboring is when you're kind of struggling with stuff," he said. "For the most part, I had everything going."

The current group of Rays were a collective 0-for-24 lifetime against Eaton coming in, but Akinori Iwamura gave an indication of things to come by opening the game with the first of his three hits. Tampa Bay got runners on second and third before Eaton escaped, but it took him 27 pitches.

"Obviously, I battled my way through a zero and thought, 'Geez, we've got to get that pitch count down,'" he said.

The right-hander was not as fortunate in the second inning. The Rays loaded the bases with one out before Eaton struck out Iwamura, but Carl Crawford followed with a triple and scored on a double by Longoria.

"Carl got a big hit. We need more of that," Maddon said.

Eaton averted another jam in the fourth when Adam Jones threw out Gabe Gross at home after fielding a single to center by Crawford. Gross got a late start and couldn't get around catcher Chad Moeller, who blocked the plate. Moeller initially missed the tag, but applied it to Gross before he could scramble back to home.

Tampa Bay pulled away with a four-run fifth against Bass, the key blow by Zobrist.

Bartlett homered in the seventh, his third hit of the game, and Longoria and Pena connected in succession in the eighth.

Notes

  • Bass tied an Orioles single-game record for homers allowed by a reliever.
  • Shields is 5-1 with a 2.77 ERA lifetime against Baltimore.
  • Tampa Bay optioned outfielder Matt Joyce to Triple-A Durham to make room for CF B.J. Upton, who will come off the disabled list Monday.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Carl Crawford clears the bases, driving in three with a triple in the second inning.  (AP)
Carl Crawford clears the bases, driving in three with a triple in the second inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

J. Bartlett
AB 5
R 3
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
Tampa Bay

J. Shields
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 1
K 3
 
Tampa Bay Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 2B5031013 .364
    Gabe Kapler, CF1000000 .125
Carl Crawford, LF5123021 .308
Evan Longoria, 3B5132012 .481
Carlos Pena, 1B5111023 .217
Pat Burrell, DH4120112 .200
Dioner Navarro, C5110012 .190
Ben Zobrist, CF-RF5223021 .308
Gabe Gross, RF2100210 .091
    Willy Aybar, 2B1000000 .250
Jason Bartlett, SS5331001 .391
Totals43111711311  
Batting
2B - Akinori Iwamura (3, Bass), Evan Longoria (4, Eaton), Pat Burrell (1, Bass), Dioner Navarro (2, Bass)
3B - Carl Crawford (1, Eaton)
HR - Evan Longoria (5, Bass), Carlos Pena (2, Bass), Ben Zobrist (1, Bass), Jason Bartlett (1, Bass)
RBI - Akinori Iwamura (1), Carl Crawford 3 (5), Evan Longoria 2 (10), Carlos Pena (3), Ben Zobrist 3 (3), Jason Bartlett (2)
2-OUT RBI - Akinori Iwamura (1), Carl Crawford 3 (4), Evan Longoria (2), Jason Bartlett (1)
SB - Akinori Iwamura (3, 2nd base off Eaton/Moeller), Carl Crawford (1, 2nd base off Eaton/Moeller), Evan Longoria (1, 2nd base off Eaton/Moeller)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Bartlett-Aybar-Pena
Tampa Bay Rays
James Shields (W,1-1) 7300130 3.65
Dan Wheeler 1100010 0.00
Grant Balfour0233300 20.25
J.P. Howell 1000010 3.38
Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 88-58, Dan Wheeler 11-7, Grant Balfour 24-10, J.P. Howell 7-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 12-6, J.P. Howell 1-0
Batters Faced - James Shields 25, Dan Wheeler 4, Grant Balfour 5, J.P. Howell 2
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B3000011 .375
    Ty Wigginton, 3B1000001 .250
Adam Jones, CF4020011 .409
Nick Markakis, RF3100102 .364
Aubrey Huff, 1B4110021 .238
Melvin Mora, 3B2000001 .313
    Ryan Freel, 3B-2B0100200 .000
Luke Scott, DH4011000 .176
Felix Pie, LF3001101 .143
Chad Moeller, C4010000 .429
Robert Andino, SS4010012 .200
Totals3236245  
Batting
2B - Adam Jones (4, Shields)
RBI - Luke Scott (3), Felix Pie (1)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Adam Jones 1
Baltimore Orioles
Adam Eaton (L,0-1) 4844260 9.00
Brian Bass 3.1877144 16.88
Dennis Sarfate 1.2100010 9.00
WP - Adam Eaton (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Adam Eaton 100-64, Brian Bass 66-39, Dennis Sarfate 23-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Adam Eaton 2-3, Brian Bass 4-2, Dennis Sarfate 1-3
Batters Faced - Adam Eaton 21, Brian Bass 19, Dennis Sarfate 6
Game Information
Attendance - 15531
Game Time - 3:00
Temperature - 48
Umpires - Home - Jim Joyce, First Base - Bill Miller, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Derryl Cousins