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Wieters homers as Orioles extend Rays' skid to four games

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Associated Press
4/16/2013 10:39:54 PM
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BALTIMORE -- Matt Wieters homered, Nate McLouth scored twice, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the struggling Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 Tuesday night despite allowing three home runs.

The Orioles let a four-run cushion dwindle to 5-4 in the eighth but held on for their fifth straight home win over the Rays, dating back to last year.

Desmond Jennings homered on the game's first pitch for Tampa Bay, and Kelly Johnson and Evan Longoria connected off Pedro Strop in the eighth. But the Rays could muster only six hits against Jake Arrieta and five relievers.

Last-place Tampa Bay has lost four straight and seven of eight. Although the Rays scored more runs than they totalled in their previous three games, they went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position and are 1 for 34 in that situation over their past eight games.

With a 4-9 record, Tampa Bay has matched the worst start in franchise history (2001 and 2005).

Arrieta (1-2) gave up one run, three hits and five walks in five-plus innings to earn his first win since last June 13. He struck out seven.

Jim Johnson worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his sixth save in six tries.

Tampa Bay right-hander Roberto Hernandez (0-3) allowed five runs, three earned, and five hits in 5 1-3 innings. Two of his three losses have come against the Orioles.

Jennings hit Arrieta's initial offering over the left-field wall, equaling the Rays' home run total over their previous seven games. It was the first time this season that Baltimore surrendered a first-inning run.

In the bottom half, McLouth walked, stole second and scored on a double by Manny Machado.

Wieters led off the second with a drive to right for a 2-1 lead. He has nine hits this season, two of them homers.

Baltimore added a run in the third when McLouth doubled and scored on a single by Nick Markakis. The inning ended when Chris Davis struck out, then angrily cracked the bat over his knee.

The Orioles made it 5-1 with two unearned runs in the sixth. With the bases loaded and one out, Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria threw wide of the plate after fielding a grounder by J.J. Hardy. That produced a run, and another scored on a groundout by Ryan Flaherty.

Johnson led off the eighth with a homer on a 3-2 pitch. After Ben Zobrist drew a walk, Longoria homered for the second time in two games. Both his extra-base hits this season have been long balls.

NOTES: There was a moment of silence before the game and an increased police presence at Camden Yards in the wake of the deadly explosions at the Boston Marathon. Asked if there might be an uneasy feeling at ballparks now, Rays manager Joe Maddon said, "I don't think so. I'd like to believe that is an isolated incident that was planned for that one particular moment. I might be wrong." ... All the players on both teams wore No. 42 in honour of Jackie Robinson. ... Jennings has five career leadoff homers. ... Rays SS Yunel Escobar went 0 for 4 and is 4 for 45 (.089) this season. ... Nate Moore, who has not allowed a run in two starts this season, pitches for Tampa Bay on Wednesday. Chris Tillman (0-0, 7.00 ERA) takes the mound for Baltimore.

Matt Wieters (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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