St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Alex Colome and four Rays relievers combined on a four-hit shutout as Tampa Bay eked out a 2-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles in the opener of an unusual series.
The Orioles were scheduled to host their AL East counterparts at Camden Yards this weekend, but the unrest in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray forced the three-game set to St. Petersburg.
"It would be a convenient excuse (to explain the loss on the changing of venues), but once the game starts...it's just a baseball game," O's manager Buck Showalter said.
The Rays, batting first and wearing their away uniforms, managed just four hits but received RBIs from Evan Longoria and James Loney to win their sixth straight game at Tropicana Field.
Colome (1-0), in his first start of the season, retired the final nine batters he faced and only allowed three singles in his five-inning start.
Chris Tillman (2-3) was handed the loss despite tossing seven solid innings.
Tillman, working on seven days of rest, set down the first 11 hitters he faced before issuing a two-out walk to Asdrubal Cabrera in the fourth.
Longoria followed with a line drive over the glove of a leaping Manny Machado, and Cabrera scored easily as the ball rolled to the left-field wall. Longoria legged out a double and came around when Loney dropped a humpback liner in front of Alejandro De Aza in left.
Colome was on a limited pitch count and was pulled after tossing 42 of his 60 pitches for strikes. He missed a large part of the spring training due to visa issues and was hit with a bad bout of pneumonia before making his way back to the mound.
The Orioles, who had won three straight coming in, managed just one baserunner against the combination of Brandon Gomes, Steve Geltz and Kevin Jepsen.
Brad Boxberger finished off the shutout by striking out the side in the ninth for his sixth save of the year.
"It's great playing behind those guys," Loney said of the Rays' staff. "They put us in a good position."
Tillman struck out seven and fell to 13-4 when pitching on six or more days of rest ... Longoria needs two hits to reach 1,000 for his career ... Colome is the 11th rookie to play for the Rays this year ... Another Rays rookie, Steven Souza, struck out in all four of his plate appearances ... The Orioles won two of three at Tropicana Field to open their season.