ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—Carlos Pena is taking up where he left off last season.
The 2007 AL comeback player of the year homered twice and drew a bases-loaded walk in the eighth inning to finish with six RBIs Friday night, helping the Tampa Bay Rays rally for a 10-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
“Hitting, winning. It’s just contagious,” Pena said after hitting his fourth and fifth homers of the season. “You flow with it, and today we swung the bat great.”
The Rays slugger hit a two-run shot off Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie in the first. He made it 5-all in the seventh with a three-run homer off left-hander Jamie Walker, who entered the game after Guthrie retired the first batter of the inning.
Pena, who hit 46 homers and drove in 121 runs last year, drew the bases-loaded walk off Dennis Sarfate (2-1) on a check swing that could have been called a third strike, putting Tampa Bay ahead 6-5.
The Rays broke it open with four more runs in the inning on B.J. Upton’s two-run single, Eric Hinske’s RBI double and Shawn Riggans’ run-scoring single— all off Greg Aquino, the fourth Baltimore pitcher.
“I’m sure he’s applying a little bit of extra pressure to himself. I’ve been trying to talk to him about it to relax him in that regard,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said of Pena, who signed a three-year contract worth $24,125,000 in January. “He’s a very talented young man.”
Al Reyes (1-1) got two outs for the win after being arrested early Friday at a Tampa bar and charged with being in a fight that disturbed the peace. He apologized for the incident, which occurred while celebrating his 38th birthday, and the Rays said before the game that he would not face disciplinary action.
“A long day. It was good to come up with a win,” Reyes said.
“Whatever happened last night, I just forgot about that and tried to stay positive and focus on the game. I didn’t want anything to affect the way I pitched.”
Guthrie scattered eight hits over 6 1-3 innings. The right-hander, who lost to Tampa Bay on opening day, struck out four and walked one before being replaced by Walker with three left-handed batters in a row headed to the plate.
Akinori Iwamura reached on an infield single and Carl Crawford’s pop fly dropped in shallow center field for his 1,000th career hit before Pena’s second homer. Sarfate followed Walker and allowed three runs, one hit and four walks in one inning.
“I left it up for a guy who likes it that way. … I wouldn’t say they beat me—I beat myself. It’s a game we should’ve won,” Sarfate said. “I wasn’t going the whole year without a bad outing. I have to live with it.”
Luke Scott’s two-run double was the big blow off Rays starter James Shields (1-2) during Baltimore’s three-run first. Brian Roberts had an RBI double in the second and Ramon Hernandez added a run-scoring single off Shields to make it 5-2 in the sixth.
Only two of the five runs scored off Shields were earned. Shortstop Jason Bartlett’s two-out throwing error gave the Orioles their first run and Scott followed with his double into the gap in left-center field.
Crawford went 2-for-4 to become the eighth player since 1900 to reach 1,000 hits and 250 steals before his 27th birthday. Among active players, he’s the ninth to get to 1,000 hits at age 26 or younger, joining Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Adrian Beltre, Ivan Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr., Albert Pujols, Andruw Jones and Vladimir Guerrero.
The Orioles have lost three straight following a six-game winning streak that had them off to their best start in a decade.
“It’s not the end of the world,” Sarfate said. “It’s still early. … We’ll win tomorrow and forget about it.”
Rays DH Cliff Floyd, out four to six weeks with a tear in his right knee, had surgery Friday. … Orioles closer Chris Ray, who is rehabbing from right elbow surgery at Baltimore’s minor league complex in nearby Sarasota, worked out with the team before the game. The right-hander had a long toss session, but has not thrown off a mound yet.