ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Tommy Hunter outlasted Tampa Bay left-hander Matt Moore tonight, but he allowed two homers and received no run support.
In some ways, it’s been a typical night for Hunter.
Solo shots by B.J. Upton leading off the fourth inning and Desmond Jennings leading off the sixth have given the Rays a 2-0 lead at Tropicana Field. Hunter has surrendered 26 homers this season, most in the majors.
Carlos Pena thought he tagged Hunter with No. 27 in the sixth, but Adam Jones made a leaping catch at the fence in right-center field, and manager Buck Showalter decided to make a pitching change.
Hunter was charged with two runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings, with one walk and three strikeouts. He threw 81 pitches, 55 for strikes.
Showalter apparently had seen enough after Pena’s long out. He bolted from the dugout and signaled for Darren O’Day, who stranded two runners.
The Orioles have scored two runs or fewer in 10 of Hunter’s last 15 starts while he’s been in the game. They’re 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position tonight, making them 0-for-20 in their last two games, and have stranded eight.
Hunter has surrendered home runs in 15 of his 17 starts this season.
Down on the farm, Steve Johnson allowed one run and four hits in six innings tonight, with three walks and eight strikeouts. He escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the first.
Johnson has held opponents to one run in three of his last four starts.
Update: Mark Reynolds turned 29 today. This is no way to celebrate a birthday.
Reynolds is 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. He’s stranded six runners.
The Orioles are 0-for-7 with RISP, making them 0-for-22 in the last two games, and have stranded 10. They’ve also struck out 10 times and continue to trail, 2-0, in the bottom of the eighth.