It may have been draft night in the NFL, but the Baltimore Orioles had sweep on their mind and they did just that thanks to some good pitching and the bottom of the lineup as the O's beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 for their first three game sweep at the Trop since April of 2011.
The bottom of the Orioles lineup continued to come through last night as Steve Pearce delivered a go ahead two-out, two-run home run in the second inning, while Jonathan Schoop provided an insurance run with a two-out RBI single in the fourth inning to account for all of the Orioles scoring.
All three Baltimore runs came with two outs and Pearce's two-run home run in the second was preceded by a two out double from JJ Hardy that even gave Pearce the opportunity. Adam Jones led off the fourth with a single, but back-to-back outs brought Pearce up with two outs and he produced an infield single to bring up Schoop, who beat the shift and gave the O's a 3-1 lead.
Pearce and Jones were the only Orioles to produce multi-hit games for the Birds as Pearce went 2-4 with a homer and two RBI, while Jones was 2-4 with a run scored. Manny Machado and Caleb Joseph were the only Orioles starters not to record a hit in the game.
Ubaldo Jimenez (2-4) got the start on the mound for the O's and although he lasted just 5 1/3 innings, it was a good outing for him and he picked up the win. Jimenez was beat up by his pitch count as several batters got to 3-2 counts and fouled off pitches, but Jimenez lasted longer than his counterpart David Price (3-3) who took the loss and lasted just five innings.
Jimenez allowed seven hits and two walks, while striking out three, but allowed just one run, which ultimately is the most important part, although it would have been nice to see him get deeper into the game. He threw 117 pitches in his outing last night with 74 of them going for strikes.
The Orioles bullpen tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings of relief with Ryan Webb and Brian Matusz each throwing 1 1/3 innings, while Darren O'Day came on in the ninth to get the save as Tommy Hunter was unavailable after throwing over 40 pitches over the last two games. O'Day allowed the first two runners to get on, but induced a double play ground ball to kill the rally and end the game with another ground ball.
The Birds now return home to Baltimore to begin a six game home stand with a three game set against the Houston Astros and will send Wei-Yin Chen (3-2) to the mound tonight to face former Oriole Scott Feldman (2-1). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.
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