Felix Pie led off the bottom of the first with a home run off Tampa Bay starter Matt Garza.
Orioles 1, Rays 0.
Pie could get a lot of opportunities to bat first while Brian Roberts stays on the disabled list, though it’s less likely to happen when the Orioles face a left-handed starter. And you never know what you’ll get with Pie, as manager Dave Trembley has pointed out.
Pie could jump on the first pitch and hit it a long way. He could work the count in his next at-bat. He could swing at a pitch in the dirt or over his head. He won’t fall into a specific pattern.
It can be exciting or maddening. Sometimes it’s both.
Now for the bad:
Adam Jones followed Pie’s blast with a single off Garza, but he broke early for second base and got caught in a rundown.
By early, I mean while Garza was getting the sign from his catcher.
Jones was halfway to second before Garza spun around, forcing the Orioles’ center fielder to slam on the brakes and almost fall backward.
The Orioles can’t afford to give away outs, though you wonder what they would have done if Jones had gotten into scoring position.
Update: The Orioles stranded a runner on third base in the second inning, failing again to get that clutch hit, and Reid Brignac tied the game with a home run in the top of the third. It’s as though teams enjoy punishing the Orioles when they squander a scoring opportunity.