BALTIMORE (AP)—Before they turn their attention toward the remaining 160 games, the Baltimore Orioles will savor the first two.
The Orioles stand alone atop the AL East after totaling 25 runs on 30 hits— including seven home runs—in two wins over Tampa Bay.
As a follow-up to its season-opening 9-6 victory Monday, Baltimore cranked up the offense another notch against Seth McClung and a parade of relievers. As a result, the Orioles are 2-0 for the first time since 1997.
“It’s just two games, but we’re feeling pretty good about ourselves. Hopefully we can keep it rolling here,” Gibbons said. “Everybody in the lineup has contributed.”
Melvin Mora and rookie Nick Markakis homered, Ramon Hernandez went 2-for-2 with two walks and three RBIs, and Brian Roberts had two hits and three RBIs. Hernandez is 5-for-5 with three walks and five RBIs in his first two games as an Oriole.
“There are a lot of games left. You’re going to get hot, and you’re going to get cold,” Hernandez said.
Right now, the Orioles’ bats are sizzling. Every starter except Corey Patterson got at least one hit, and seven different players had at least one RBI.
“It’s a long season. Maybe we’ll win 2-1 tomorrow night,” first-year manager Sam Perlozzo said.
Erik Bedard (1-0) allowed three runs, three walks and eight hits in five innings. He wasn’t particularly sharp, but it didn’t matter because Baltimore went up 5-1 in the first inning and pulled away with a six-run fourth.
Only 16,083 showed up on a chilly night, the smallest crowd in the 15-year history of Camden Yards.
Jorge Cantu homered and Toby Hall had two RBIs for the Devil Rays, who fell to 0-2 under rookie manager Joe Maddon. McClung (0-1) gave up seven runs and a career-high seven walks in three-plus innings.
“It’s just a bad night, that’s all. It’s the second game of the year; we’ve got plenty more to go,” Maddon said. “I don’t know if we’re pitching that bad or they’ve been hitting the ball that well.”
Tampa Bay went up 1-0 in the first inning when Ty Wigginton hit an RBI single in his first at-bat with the Devil Rays.
Baltimore batted around in the bottom half. A single and two walks loaded the bases for Gibbons, who doubled in two runs. Kevin Millar followed with an RBI single, Javy Lopez drove in a run with a groundout and Hernandez capped the uprising with a run-scoring double.
The Devil Rays closed to 5-2 in the fourth when Lee hit a leadoff double and scored on an infield hit by Carl Crawford.
In the bottom half, McClung was lifted after walking the first two batters. He faced 21 batters, and walked a third of them. Five others got hits.
“It’s not the way you want to get started, but that’s the way I did start. It’s over. I don’t worry about it,” he said. “I just had a bad day. Bad day at work today. No panic button—I’m not going to over-think it. The disappointment is I put my team in a bad situation and we lost. My fault.”
McClung was replaced by Jesus Colome, who retired Miguel Tejada before leaving with tightness in his right shoulder after going to 2-0 on Gibbons. Brian Meadows completed the walk, then gave up RBI singles to Millar and Lopez before Hernandez hit a sacrifice fly.
The inning was extended when Hall was called for catcher’s interference, and Roberts followed with a three-run double for an 11-2 lead.
Hall hit a run-scoring grounder in the fifth. In the Orioles’ half, Mora hit a leadoff homer, Tejada singled and Gibbons homered to make it 15-3.
The Devil Rays played without SS Julio Lugo, who has a strained abdominal muscle. … Markakis walked in each of his first three plate appearances in the majors, then hit two fly balls before homering off Dan Miceli in the eighth. … McClung was 3-0 with a 2.33 ERA lifetime against Baltimore. … Tampa Bay is 0-2 for only the second time in franchise history.