St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Tillman delivered 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball and the Baltimore Orioles began their AL East title defense with a 6-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day.
Tillman (1-0), making his second career Opening Day start, allowed four hits and three walks but kept Tampa Bay off the scoreboard until Evan Longoria's solo home run in the seventh inning.
"My fastball command was good," said Tillman. "That's most important for me every start, and I was able to get it going early on."
Alejandro De Aza, Steve Pearce and Ryan Flaherty all homered for the Orioles, while De Aza and Travis Snider each drove in two runs in the win.
Baltimore finished 2014 with a 96-66 record, winning the division comfortably by 12 games before falling to the Royals in the ALCS.
Chris Archer (0-1) allowed four runs -- three earned -- with five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings for Tampa Bay, whose scheduled Opening Day starter Alex Cobb missed the game with tendonitis in his throwing arm.
"It's amazing, once you get into the third or fourth inning, it turns into just another game," said new Rays manager Kevin Cash, who took over for Joe Maddon this offseason. "We have 161 more ball games and they'll all be very similar."
Archer ran into trouble right from the jump, allowing De Aza to reach base on his throwing error to begin the game. Manny Machado then walked and with two outs, Snider plated the first run with a single to left-center.
Neither team put a runner in scoring position after that until Caleb Joseph's one-out double in the visiting fifth. De Aza followed with a two-run homer to right-center.
Pearce took Archer deep for a solo shot an inning later, increasing the lead to 4-0.
Longoria put Tampa Bay on the board with his solo shot in the seventh, but Baltimore responded a half-inning later. With Pearce on first after working a two-out walk, Snider doubled to deep right. Pearce rounded the bases and flew home, but the ball beat him there and he was tagged out by catcher Rene Rivera. Pearce appeared to slide in under the tag, though, and a video review confirmed it and the call was reversed.
Asdrubal Cabrera's RBI double in the bottom of the eighth and Flaherty's solo homer in the ninth produced the final runs.
Rays DH John Jaso left the game after injuring his wrist sliding into second base ... Orioles catcher Matt Wieters underwent Tommy John surgery last June. He is in Florida participating in extended spring training and is expected to join the club by the end of April ... Both teams had eight hits.