St. Petersburg, FL – Chris Davis hit a two-run homer and knocked in four runs, helping the Baltimore Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 6-3, in the rubber match of a three-game series.
Davis homered in every game of the series and went 7-for-11 with 11 RBI for the Orioles, who got a two-run homer from J.J. Hardy. Adam Jones went 3-for-5 with two runs scored.
"I feel comfortable in the box," Davis said. "We've had a few runners on when I'm up at the plate, which is always fun cause if you get a hit, those guys are going to score."
Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez (1-0) allowed two runs on five hits over 6 1/3 innings. The right-hander went 9-4 with a 3.25 ERA in 18 games last season.
The news was not all good for Baltimore, which lost second baseman Brian Roberts to a hamstring injury in the top of the ninth inning. Roberts hurt his right hamstring while sliding headfirst into second on a stolen base. Roberts was unable to put any pressure on his right leg as he was helped off the field.
Evan Longoria, Jose Molina and James Loney had an RBI apiece for the Rays, who saw starter Roberto Hernandez (0-1) give up four runs on six hits over 6 2/3 innings. The pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona, Hernandez fanned seven and walked two.
The Orioles jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second. Jones led off the frame with a single and scored on Davis' blast to right-center field.
"It's just unbelievable," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of Davis' success in the series. "You throw anything up there and he's going to hit it hard somewhere. I've never quite seen him like that."
After failing to record a hit through four innings, Tampa Bay hit four singles in the fifth. Longoria led off with a single to center and moved to second two batters later on Yunel Escobar's single that deflected off Gonzalez's shin. Loney and Molina followed with consecutive RBI singles to make it a 2-2 game. Ryan Roberts grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Baltimore scored twice in the sixth to take the lead back. Nick Markakis walked and advanced to second on Jones' single. Davis knocked in both runners with a double to left-center field, making it 4-2.
Hardy's homer in the eighth gave the Orioles some breathing room. Matt Wieters hit a two-out single and scored on Hardy's blast to left.
An odd play highlighted the bottom of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Sean Rodriguez was hit by a pitch and Ben Zobrist singled to put men on first and second with no outs. Jim Johnson entered the game to face Longoria, who hit a run-scoring single off the wall in left-center field. On the play, Zobrist held up at first to see if the ball was going to be caught. In the process, Longoria apparently passed Zobrist on the basepaths. Longoria was called out and Zobrist ended up at third.
Shelley Duncan and Loney popped out to give Johnson his second save of the season.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Davis joins Frank Robinson (in 1966) as the only players with home runs in each of the first three games of the season for the Orioles/Browns franchise since 1920 ... Hernandez was signed by the Rays in December after pitching only three games last season with the Cleveland Indians due to visa issues.