ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Chris Davis' offensive exhibition powered the Baltimore Orioles to a 6-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in the final game of their season-opening series. But the win could prove costly after second baseman Brian Roberts sustained a ninth-inning injury and had to be helped off the field.
Baltimore improved to 2-1 as Davis went 2-for-3 with a double, home run and four RBIs. The first baseman has 10 homers in his last 10 regular season games and completed the series batting .636 with a MLB-best three homers and 11 RBIs.
Davis' two-run double -- his third of the season -- in the sixth inning gave the Orioles a 4-2 lead. Nick Markakis drew a one-out walk against Rays' starter Roberto Hernandez to start the rally and took second on an Adam Jones single, one of his three hits in the game. The left-handed Davis lined a gapper against an exaggerated shift to left-center to score both.
Davis, who broke the bat that had produced his big numbers with an eighth-inning foul ball, didn't seem interested in over-thinking his hot streak.
"It's awesome, but at the same time it's about winning baseball games," he said. "I've just been trying to keep it simple, do my job."
"Without Chris Davis, we're 3-0," said Rays third baseman Evan Longoria in the understatement of the short season.
Hernandez (0-1) allowed six earned runs on six hits with seven strikeouts in 6.2 innings. Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez (1-0) allowed two runs on five hits in 6.1 innings. Jim Johnson earned his second save.
J.J. Hardy hit his first homer of the season in the eighth, a two-run blast to left off Cesar Ramos that scored Matt Wieters.
The Orioles could be without it's ninth-place hitter if Roberts is sidelined. He said "something kind of popped" behind his knee on the lower right hamstring in his final two steps before he slid headfirst stealing second base with the Orioles ahead by four runs. Roberts, who played in just 17 games last season because of injuries, said he has never injured a hamstring before. He will undergo an MRI on Friday.
"I really don't have a lot of words for it right now," he said. "Frustrated, but let's get the results and hopefully move forward."
Tampa Bay pulled within three runs in the ninth when Longoria lashed what appeared to be a run-scoring double off the wall and beyond the reach of Adam Jones and Nate McLouth against Johnson . But Longoria was called out for passing Ben Zobrist on the base path beyond first, stunting the rally. Rays manager Joe Maddon argued the call for several minutes.
"If they hadn't call it, they would have had a heck of an argument too," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We were all watching it, saw the same thing the umpire did. You can make an argument either way. We were fortunate. ... I'm surprised it doesn't happen more, as well as people run and as aggressive as they are at this level."
Zobrist said he considered the mistake his.
"I was going back to the bag to tag if they caught the ball," he said. "If I go back, I would have rather gone right at second base and waited to see what happened. .... I certainly didn't see (Longoria) in my peripheral."
Davis opened the Orioles' scoring in the second inning with a two-run homer off Hernandez. Maddon joked after Davis's 4-for-4, four-RBI output Wednesday that he would order his pitchers to roll the ball to the plate when he batted.
"It's just unbelievable," he said. "You throw anything up there and he's just going to hit it hard somewhere."
The Rays used their first four hits -- all up the middle and one off Gonzalez's leg -- to tie the game at two in the fifth. James Loney and Jose Molina had RBIs.
NOTES: Crew chief John Hirschbeck said the ninth-inning call on Longoria was not reviewable. "That's the kind of thing you either see it, or you don't," he said. ... The Orioles stole three bases -- including a double steal by Roberts' pinch runner Alexi Casilla and McLouth -- in the ninth inning ahead 6-2. ... The Rays allowed at least six runs in each game of the series. They did so in three straight games just twice in 2012. ... Baltimore has won eight of its last 11 against the Rays. ... Orioles 3B Manny Machado bailed Gonzalez out of a first inning jam by tagging Desmond Jennings attempting to take third on a grounder, then throwing to first to retire batter Zobrist. ... The Orioles placed Dylan Bundy, considered one of the top three prospects in baseball, on the seven-day disabled list with right forearm tightness. ... The Orioles claimed RHP Josh Stinson off waivers from Oakland and optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk.