Orioles 8, Devil Rays 3

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BALTIMORE (AP)—As Jeremy Guthrie walked out of the Baltimore bullpen before his start against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, pitching coach Leo Mazzone pulled him aside and offered some words of assurance.

“He said, ‘You’re not auditioning. Relax. Have fun,”’ Guthrie said. “That was a nice comfort.”

The right-hander responded with a performance that earned him at least another start as part of the Orioles’ makeshift rotation, allowing one run in six innings in Baltimore’s 8-3 victory Tuesday night.

Nick Markakis and Jay Gibbons homered for the Orioles, who needed only three innings to take a 5-1 lead against struggling Tampa Bay starter Jae Seo.

Guthrie (2-1) gave up six hits, struck out two and walked none in his second start of the season. Seeking to earn a spot in a rotation that is without injured starters Adam Loewen and Jaret Wright, Guthrie missed the strike zone with only 21 of his 67 pitches.

“It makes you feel like we’ve got a guy that can go in there and do it,” Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said. “He’s going to be someone that certainly can fill our rotation for a while. You don’t want to put too much pressure on the kid; he had a great start tonight and hopefully can repeat it.”

Drafted in the first round of the 2002 amateur draft by Cleveland, Guthrie pitched in 16 games with the Indians—including one start—before being waived in January. He was claimed by the Orioles and inserted in the bullpen.

Now he’s a starter, and can only hope to maintain the role.

“I had enough auditions in Cleveland. Hopefully I got the bad ones out of the way because I felt like every time I ever threw out there, it was an audition,” he said. “Today I was relaxed.”

It was Guthrie’s first win in three career starts. His other major league victory came on April 16, when he beat Tampa Bay by throwing 2 1-3 innings of one-hit relief.

“This guy, he’s got a great arm. He’s a great pitcher,” said Carlos Pena, who went 4-for-4 with an RBI for the Devil Rays.

After Guthrie left, Chad Bradford gave up RBI singles to Dioner Navarro and Brendan Harris in the seventh. But former Tampa Bay fixture Aubrey Huff doubled in a run in the bottom half to make it 6-3.

Gibbons homered off Jae Kuk Ryu in the eighth and Miguel Tejada added his third hit of the game, an RBI single. Gibbons, who came in batting .188, went 3-for-4.

Seo (1-3) allowed five runs and six hits in three innings. He has given up 56 hits, an AL-high 37 runs—32 earned—in 32 2-3 innings. His ERA is an unsightly 8.82.

“Six hits, four hits on changeups,” Seo said. “The changeup was too high. Everything else was OK—the fastball, the slider. Tonight, the problem was the high changeup.”

The South Korean right-hander has failed to make it past the third inning in three of his seven starts, and is 0-4 in eight road starts since July 19.

“He just couldn’t get the ball down,” Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said “Fastball, changeup, everything was up. He threw a couple decent breaking balls. But his bread and butter is fastball location and changeup location, and it just wasn’t there tonight.”

But Maddon intends to be patient.

“I always try to look at history. This guy traditionally hasn’t pitched as well in April as he does in May,” the manager said. “That’s probably something we can still look forward to.”

The Orioles went up 2-0 in the first when Melvin Mora hit a two-out, two-run single with the bases loaded. Tampa Bay has been outscored 31-4 in the opening inning this year.

Doubles by Ty Wigginton and Pena produced a run in the Tampa Bay second. Markakis made it 4-1 in the bottom half with his fourth home run, a drive over the right-field scoreboard following a single by Gibbons.

Jay Payton tripled in a run with two outs in the third.


The Devil Rays called up RHPs Chad Orvella and Tim Corcoran from Triple-A Durham to replace RHPs Ruddy Lugo, who was optioned to Durham after Sunday’s game, and Juan Salas, suspended 50 games for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. … Rays LF Carl Crawford made a spectacular diving catch near the corner to rob Ramon Hernandez of a fifth-inning hit. … Tampa Bay’s B.J. Upton extended his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games.

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