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Rays 4, Orioles 3: Second Verse, Same as the First

The Orioles wasted a pretty good effort by Jeremy Guthrie this evening as they were completely dominated by Matt Garza, who pitched 8 innings and allowed just 2 runs (one earned) while striking out nine.

With one out in the first inning, Adam Jones hit a nice opposite field single and Nick Markakis walked for the third time this season. Miguel Tejada followed that with a single to that scored Adam Jones and the O's looked to be in business. Unfortunately Luke Scott had a really rough day and followed Tejada with the first of his three strikeouts on the night. Matt Wieters followed that with a ground ball that should have ended the inning but Carlos Pena couldn't handle the throw at first. Markakis scored from third to give the O's a 2-0 lead, but that was all they'd get. After the first inning the O's bats went quiet and they wouldn't score again until the 9th inning.

Matt Garza is just a beast of a pitcher. I'm not making excuses for the Orioles because they were pretty pathetic at the plate tonight, but Matt Garza is just ridiculous. He was good last year and he might just be great this year. I don't look forward to seeing him face the Orioles again next week.

Jeremy Guthrie had a good start himself. He kept his pitch count down for much of his outing, he didn't allow too many runners, and he pitched 6.1 innings. He allowed one run in the 5th inning on three singles, and two runs in the fifth inning, both scoring on an RBI double by Evan Longoria to left center. It looked like a ball that Felix Pie or a healthy Nolan Reimold would have caught, but with Pie out with his bum shoulder it was up to gimpy Nolan and he couldn't quite get there.

Will Ohman pitched another good inning for the O's and Cla Meredith made his first appearance of the year as well. He probably wishes he didn't as Longoria, the first batter he faced, crushed his second home run in as many days. That gave the Rays a valuable insurance run as the O's came back to score one in the 9th on a Matt Wieters single and Garrett Atkins double. Pie ran for Atkins with one out and moved to third on a ground out by pinch hitter Ty Wigginton, but Brian Roberts couldn't knock him in and the O's lost their second game in a row.

The opening series concludes tomorrow night and mark your calendars because it's Brian Matusz night. He'll be facing Jeff Niemann as the O's look for avoid the sweep.