The Orioles jumped out to a 4-1 lead after two innings with some solid two-out hitting, and never looked back. With the bases loaded in the first inning and two down, Melvin Mora hit a single into left field, scoring both. The next inning, Nick Markakis hit a two-run homer onto the flag court in right field, his fourth of the season. The two RBIs each made Markakis and Mora the first Orioles to reach 20 RBIs this year.
Jeremy Guthrie won his second career game, and first as a starter, after turning in six solid innings. In his two starts this year, Guthrie has allowed just two earned runs in 11 innings. Although Guthrie threw just 67 pitches, nearly 70 percent of which were in the strike zone, he was removed after the sixth. That marked just the 11th time in 33 games this season that an Orioles starter pitched six innings.
The Orioles, who lead the American League in fielding percentage, were solid on defense behind Guthrie last night. They got plenty of chances because only four outs were strikeouts. Tampa Bay led off the third and fourth innings with singles, but Guthrie induced double plays to end both innings, starting the second one himself. Mora also made several nice plays at third.
Erik Bedard (3-2, 5.63), third in the AL in strikeouts, faces off tonight against James Shields (2-0, 3.75), fourth in the league in strikeouts. Bedard hasn't found his rhythm, but is 8-3 with a 3.19 ERA in 16 games against the Devil Rays. Shields has won his past two starts and has 29 strikeouts over his past three outings (23 1/3 innings).