BALTIMORE — The Tampa Bay Rays
have never been this good this early in the season — not even when they
went to the World Series in 2008.
And don't think for a moment they're
taking their unprecedented success for granted.
B.J. Upton homered twice and drove in
four runs, Carlos Pena hit a three-run shot and Tampa Bay ended a
dreadful home stand for the Baltimore Orioles with a 9-1 victory
David Price (2-0) allowed one run and
four hits in seven innings for the Rays, whose 6-3 start is the best in
franchise history. Tampa Bay swept the three-game series, something it
did only once on the road last year.
"This is what we have to do to get to
where we want to go," Price said. "We got to win games like this. When
we've got a chance for a sweep, whether it's home or on the road, we've
got to come out and take care of business."
Said Pena: "It means a lot. That is
exactly what we want to do. What just happened is behind us. But we're
enjoying the fact that we won today and that we're off to a good start."
The Orioles, in contrast, are 1-8 —
their worst start since going 0-21 in 1988. Baltimore went 0-6 and was
outscored 37-16 during its opening home stand against Toronto and the
"It's not how you draw it up. You
didn't want to come in here and start like this," Orioles manager Dave
Trembley said. "We certainly had a lot of opportunities to win our fair
share of the games and we didn't. Losing ought to say how frustrated and
disappointed everybody is."
Against Tampa Bay, the Orioles were
plagued by poor situational hitting, untimely errors and shoddy relief
It was the opposite for the Rays.
"Tampa came in here and played
great," Trembley said. "They got great starting pitching, they got the
big hits and they played good defense. And they're a very good team.
They took advantage of all the opportunities that they had in all three
Miguel Tejada homered for the
Orioles, but Baltimore went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and
is 10-for-66 (.152) for the season.
"We haven't played well," Trembley
acknowledged. "We expect that we'll play better."
Orioles starter Brad Bergesen (0-1)
gave up eight runs, five earned, in three-plus innings. After enjoying a
promising rookie season in 2009, the right-hander has an 11.74 ERA
after two starts.
The Rays scored three unearned runs
in the first inning, courtesy of an error and Pena's second homer in as
many at-bats. Tejada and shortstop Cesar Izturis both had trouble
tracking a pop-up in the sun, and Tejada was given an error after the
ball plopped between them on the right side of the infield. Bergesen
issued a two-out walk and Pena followed with a drive to left-center.
"Our offense, that was their game
today," Price said. "That was huge, to put up three runs in the first."
Pena previously homered in the 10th
inning of Tuesday night's 8-6 win.
Upton made it 6-0 in the third with
his first home run of the season. The drive to left followed a leadoff
double by Carl Crawford and a two-out intentional walk to Pena.
Crawford chased Bergesen with an RBI
double in the fourth, and Evan Longoria added a run-scoring single for
an 8-0 lead.
Tejada opened the bottom half with
his second home run.
Upton completed his second career
two-homer game with a solo shot off Jason Berken in the seventh. After
struggling at the plate last season, Upton appears poised for a
"That was awesome. It's good to see
him just enjoying baseball the way he's capable of," Pena said. "That
ball's just jumping off his bat and that's exciting. And it's just
starting. I think we're going to see a lot of B.J. Upton in the coming
weeks and the rest of the year. It's going to be a fun year."
Orioles placed struggling LH
closer Mike Gonzalez on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left
shoulder. … Ben Zobrist's 16-game hitting streak (over two seasons)
ended with an 0-for-4 performance. … Tejada has both Baltimore errors
this season, and they have led to three unearned runs.