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Orioles 12, Rays 6: Nick Markakis leads the HR binge

The Orioles remain undefeated in the Grapefruit League! Yes, I used an exclamation point for that. 

The first two innings were really the best part of this game, so it's a shame that the internet couldn't get its act together and properly broadcast the game through Gameday Audio. Why is it being broadcast over a conference call? Oh well, I suppose those guys are also rusty after the long off-season.

Jeremy Guthrie pitched two perfect innings, throwing 19 of 25 pitches for strikes. Well done, Guts. On the offensive side of the house, the Orioles hit three home runs in the first inning (Nick Markakis, Vladimir Guerrero, Adam Jones) and two home runs in the second inning (Jake Fox, Markakis again) to give the O's a 6-0 lead. I know we shouldn't put much stock into ST performances, but it would make me one happy lady if Markakis could get back to being the kind of guy who hits twenty HR a year.

The Orioles struck again in the fourth inning, scoring four more runs. Matt Wieters doubled in J.J. Hardy, Fox singled in Wieters, Brian Roberts doubled with Fox moving to third, Nicky knocked in Fox, and Vlad hit a sac fly to bring home Roberts. Not a bad day for the O's offense. Even the second stringers got in on the action in the 8th inning when Brandon Snyder hit a two-run double that scored Ryan Adams and Brenden Harris.

The Orioles pitchers didn't have such a good time. Rick VandenHurk wasn't too bad, giving up just an RBI double to Evan Longoria in his two innings pitched, but Mark Hendrickson gave up a HR to Kelly Shoppach and David Riske gave up back-to-back HR to Manny Ramirez and B.J. Upton. Riske didn't even make it through his inning as Alberto Castillo of all people had to come in and clean up his mess. Jason Berken also had his troubles, giving up 2 runs on 2 hits and a walk in the 7th inning, but some cat named Raul Rivero pitched a perfect 8th and Armando Gabino closed things out with a scoreless 9th.

The O's play the Phillies on the road tomorrow at 1 p.m. but unfortunately the game won't be broadcast on the radio or television, which makes me sad.