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Orioles 5, Rays 0: 1971 Baltimore Orioles > 1970 Tampa Tarpons

The Orioles continued their mystifying run of baseball with a shutout of the Tampa Bay Rays, who just happen to have the second best record in baseball. It was one of those games that was just well played, both on offense and defense, and I have to admit, it's strange to watch a game where I'm not just waiting for it to to be lost.

The Rays couldn't solve Jeremy Guthrie as he only allowed two hits over his six innings. Unfortunately for Guts he did have trouble finding the strike zone, resulting in four walks and an early exit. Koji Uehara and Mike Gonzalez closed out the game for Guts, both looking good (although that's nothing new).

The O's scored three runs in the top of the first inning, all with two outs. Brian Roberts flew out on the first pitch and Nick Markakis walked but was immediately picked off first. Back-to-back singles by Ty Wigginton and Luke Scott put two runners on for Adam Jones, who tripled down the right field line. Felix Pie then doubled him in for the 3-0 lead and Guthrie had a lead before he stepped onto the field.

The way Guthrie started off, it looked like it might end up being a high scoring game. With one out Guts walked Ben Zobrist and gave up a single to Carl Crawford, but then Nick Markakis made a fantastic catch in foul territory on an Evan Longoria fly ball and Matt Joyce popped up to end the inning. The Rays wouldn't come close to scoring again as Guthrie allowed a walk in the third, two walks in the fifth, and a triple in the sixth. The triple wasn't his fault, though, as Felix Pie either overran the ball or lost it in the ceiling or something and slipped when it should have been caught. Guthrie's night ended with 102 pitches thrown, only 55 for strikes.

The O's struck for a single run in the fourth when Josh Bell singled to knock in Cesar Izturis, who had doubled to lead off the inning, and another single run in the seventh when Luke Scott hit a home run off of Lance Cormier, making up for the single he hit earlier that was hit about four inches too low for a HR.

Uehara pitched the seventh and eighth innings for the Orioles giving up just one hit, and Mike Gonzalez exorcised some demons with a scoreless ninth to finish the game.

O's win, 5-0! Buck's Birds are 9-2 with ten of the eleven starts being of the quality variety. Tomorrow Brian Matusz and Andy Sonnanstine face off on national TV at 4:10.

Game notes:

  • Josh Bell is looking better at the plate lately, and tonight took his first major league walk to go with his RBI single.
  • Felix Pie had three hits on the night, including two doubles, and made a couple good catches in left (other than that time he fell down, the poor thing).
  • Wiggy was flashing the leather and made two fantastic diving catches. One and Two.
  • Luke Scott had a perfect night with two singles, a home run, and a walk.
  • Mark Viviano told a story about the Orioles staying in a haunted hotel and that one Oriole made another check in the closet and under the bed before going in. It was determined that it had to have been Felix and led to an awesome picture by holy mittens that you MUST check out.