All of the action in this game took place in the first inning as the Rays Jeff Niemann lost all control, allowing a lead off double to Brian Roberts, hitting Adam Jones, giving up another double to Nick Markakis (which scored Brian Roberts), and then walking Aubrey Huff. That set the stage for Melvin Mora. The Orioles PBP guys love to talk about how Melvin is so clutch, his RISP numbers are just awesome apparently. Melvin proved them right as he nailed a slider from Niemann that landed in the Orioles bullpen for a grand slam.
Niemann settled down after that but the damage was done. He pitched 5.1 innings allowing 6 runs on 6 hits with 4 walks.
Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie had a much more successful outing. He pitched 6 shut out innings, allowing 5 hits while striking out two and walking none. Guts got into trouble in the 4th when he allowed Gabe Gross and Jason Bartlett to get to 2nd and 3rd with one out, but helped himself by fielding a grounder and catching Gross breaking for home. Gabe was thrown out, making that the 2nd Gabe in two days to get thrown out between third and home for the Rays.
Matt Albers, Jamie Walker, and Chris Ray worked the final three innings for the Orioles without much drama other than Ray allowing two baserunners in the 2nd 9th. He walked Matt Joyce and gave up a ground rule double to Navarro before striking out Gross and Bartlett to end the game. I was sitting in left field and maybe I'm being too hard on him, but it looked to me like Felix could have gotten to the ball. Or maybe I'm just impatient with him, I don't know. I'm sort of biased against him.
And was it just me, or was Aubrey Huff flashing the leather tonight at first? Not too shabby, Aubrey.
Note: After the game, Matt Albers was optioned to AAA Norfolk to make room for Adam Eaton. Eaton will start tomorrow's game vs. James Shields.