Written by Chris Slade
Tonight's matchup featured Ubaldo Jimenez and Rays ace David Price on the mound. The Rays jumped on Jimenez early on an RBI single by Evan Longoria. That would be their final run of the night. Meanwhile, the Orioles grabbed a 2-1 lead in the 2nd thanks to a two-run bomb from Steve Pearce, who also had a great night in the field. The Orioles extended the lead to 3-1 in the top of the 4th on an RBI single by Jonathan Schoop. That would be all for scoring as both bullpens put up zero's and the Orioles pulled off the sweep of the Rays!
Ubaldo Jimenez looked to build off his stellar performance in Minnesota last Friday. Tonight, he wasn't nearly as pitch efficient as his last outing, but flashed similar dominant stuff at times, particularly the explosive late life on his two seam fastball. The Rays were able to touch him up early in the first but he settled in over the next three innings of work before running into some troubel in the 5th. The Rays were able to load the bases on Ubaldo in the 5th and run his pitch count all the way up to 102 before he worked out of the jam on a key double play. Buck brought him back out for the 6th but he was removed with one out and two on. Ubaldo is now 2-0 in the month of May.
Final Line: 5.1 IP, 7 H, ER, 2 BB, 3 K
Ryan Webb entered in the 6th and got two groundouts to work out of the jam. he stayed on for the 7th, allowed two walks, but struck out Evan Longoria.
Brian Matusz entered with two outs to face James Loney and retired him via flyout to centerfield. Matusz stayed on in the 8th and retired the side in order to hold the lead.
With "Stanhouse" working the last two nights, Buck decided to give Darren O'Day the nod in the 9th inning save situation. After putting the first two batters on, O'Day induced a key double play off the bat of Desmond Jennings and got Matt Joyce to ground out to second to end the game.
The Orioles didn't have a great track record against David Price coming into this game, but they sure looked comfortable in the batters box against himt tonight. They recorded nine hits against him and knocked him out of the ball game after just five innings.
Steve Pearce went 2-for-4 and came up with the big knock in the 2nd inning after J.J. Hardy doubled before him.
Adam Jones and Pearce singled in the 4th inning which set the stage for Jonathan Schoop to drive in Jones with a two-out single. Jones finished 2-for-4 on the night.
Defensive Highlights/ Lowlights
Steve Pearce employed the Mark Reynolds "diving toe tap" of first base on the relay throw by Jonathan Schoop to first on a crucial inning ending double play in the 5th inning.
Key Moments In The Game
The crucial jams the Orioles were able to work out of in the 5th and 6th innings as well as Darren O'Day not allowing leadoff runners to score in the 9th.
Steve Pearce's big home run in the 2nd which gave the Orioles a lead for the rest of the way.
Other Notes/ Musings
Orioles pull off the sweep and remain in 1st place!
An impressive feat to pull off with Wieters not catching and Chris Davis on the mend, especially in Tampa against their strong pitching staff.
Steve Pearce is my MVP of the series. Nice to have quality bench players step up when called upon.
Orioles look to continue their roll tomorrow night at home with the Astros in town. Scott Feldman returns to Baltimore to take on Wei-Yin Chen.
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