SARASOTA, Fla. — The pomp and circumstance of Opening Day at Ed Smith Stadium gave way to an Orioles hit parade as they connected for five homers in the first two innings en route to a 12-6 rout of the Tampa Bay Rays before a sellout crowd of 7,497.
With Orioles owner Peter Angelos watching from a seat next to the dugout, Nick Markakis, Vladimir Guerrero and Adam Jones hit homers in the first inning off Rays starter Andy Sonnanstine. Jake Fox and Markakis added homers in the second, both off Sonnanstine, who allowed five homers while getting six outs.
Markakis added an RBI single in the fourth inning, finishing 3-for-3 with two homers and four RBIs. Guerrero, Fox and Brandon Snyder had two RBIs each, while Matt Wieters connected for an RBI double.
"We're still missing Derrek [Lee] out of the lineup, too," Markakis said. "We're going to swing the bats. There's no question. We definitely have the depth, we have the lineup. We have a hell of a ballclub here. It's going to be fun and exciting throughout the whole year."
Likely Opening Day starter Jeremy Guthrie pitched two scoreless innings, retiring all six batters he faced and striking out one as the Orioles improved to 2-0 in the Grapefruit League.
"Everything felt like it left off at the end of last season, so that's good," Guthrie said. "I haven't thrown a strike in five months, so it's nice to go out there and be able to do that. The command wasn't tremendous, but I told [catcher Matt Wieters] that we would work on corners the next couple of times, I guess. We worked on strikes [today]."
Manny Ramirez and B.J. Upton hit back-to-back homers off David Riske in the sixth, and the Rays scored twice more in the seventh off Jason Berken.