Rays struggle offensively in 3-1 loss to Orioles

Posted at 12:44 AM, Apr 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-28 00:44:35-04

The Tampa Bay Rays could only manage two hits as the Baltimore Orioles -- not exactly an offensive juggernaut lately -- snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory Wednesday night.

Joey Rickard hit a three-run homer for the Orioles.

Rickard, selected by the Orioles from Tampa Bay in December's Rule 5 Draft, hit his second home run and Chris Tillman gave up two hits in 6 2/3 innings for the Orioles.

Rickard's homer came off Matt Moore in the fifth inning after Nolan Reimold walked and Jonathan Schoop singled. It was only the third home run in eight games for the Orioles, who have scored just five runs in their last four games.

Tillman (2-1) tied a career high with nine strikeouts. Both of his wins have come over the Rays.

"I was glad he was on my team tonight," Rickard said of Tillman. "That was some impressive stuff. It was almost automatic. When a guy's going like that, you're very confident on defense and he's giving us a chance to get something going."

Darren O'Day, Brad Brach and Zach Britton finished for Baltimore, with Britton pitching the ninth for his fifth save.

Moore (1-2) lost his second straight start after going seven starts without a loss, dating to last season. He gave up only three hits and struck out nine in seven innings, but the one pitch to his old friend cost him the game.

"He's a tough out," said Moore, who played with Rickard at Triple-A Durham last season. "I actually know (Rickard) decently. We worked out together three or four offseasons. I pounded Joey (with inside pitches) pretty early in the game and he obviously went in between those at-bats and had a good game plan on pitches inside."

Leadoff singles by Logan Forsythe, Logan Morrison and Evan Longoria were the Rays' only hits until Steve Pearce drove in a run with a two-out, pinch-hit single in the ninth.

With only four hits, the Rays' batting average dropped to .220, lowest in the American League. Pearce's hit was the Rays' only hit of the three-game series in 17 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

"Fairly quiet ballgame, to say the least," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I thought Matt Moore was outstanding. Tillman (was) probably as tough as we've seen."

The win was the 1,352nd in the career of Orioles manager Buck Showalter, moving him into a tie with Chuck Tanner for 30th place all-time.


Orioles 3B Manny Machado plans to play for the Dominican Republic in next year's World Baseball Classic. "It will be a great time for him," Showalter said. "I'll support any of our guys that want to do it. It's something that's important globally, and our game is very global." Showalter said "it would be an honor" if he is asked in the future to manage in the WBC.


When their upcoming weekend series against Toronto is completed, the Rays will have played 18 of 24 games against AL East rivals. It will be the Blue Jays' second visit to Tropicana Field. "We're all being tested early on because of the back and forth, playing each other within the division," Cash said.


Orioles: IF-OF Jimmy Paredes (sprained left wrist) went 1 for 4 in his second rehab game and is 1 for 7 overall with Double-A Bowie. He started at third base Tuesday.

Rays: Closer Brad Boxberger (adductor surgery) threw fastballs and changeups during a 27-pitch bullpen session. He could start a minor league rehab assignment in the next couple weeks.


Orioles: RHP Tyler Wilson (1-0) will get his second start of the season in Thursday's opener of a four-game series against the Chicago White Sox in Baltimore. LHP John Danks (0-3) will pitch for the White Sox.

Rays: LHP Drew Smyly (1-2) will pitch Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays and RHP Aaron Sanchez (1-1).