ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - No need to check with Elias. The Orioles’ streak of going hitless with runners in scoring position came to a peaceful end tonight.
Matt Wieters lined a single into right field with two outs in the top of the first inning to score Nick Markakis and give the Orioles a 1-0 lead.
The Orioles had been 0-for-22 with RISP heading into the game, and it didn’t take long for the next opportunity to come along. Markakis led off with a walk and took second on Adam Jones’ two-out single to center field.
Wieters, 3-for-15 lifetime against Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson, followed with his single, extending his hitting streak to six games and knocking the monkey off his team’s back. Wieters went 2-for-4 last night to improve his career average against the Rays to .335 and his lifetime average at Tropicana Field to .389.
The Orioles worked Hellickson for 31 pitches in the first.
They owe Wei-Yin Chen some runs. They’ve scored three or fewer nine times in his last 14 starts.
One more stat: The Orioles have been held without an extra-base hit in 11 games this season, tying them with the Mariners for most in the majors. The Rays are next with 10.
Nate McLouth, in his first at-bat with the Orioles, doubled off the fence in right-center field leading off the second inning.
Update: It happened again.
McLouth scored with two outs on Markakis’ single, giving the Orioles a 2-0 lead and making them 2-for-5 with RISP through two innings.
Markakis began the night batting .359 in 21 games as the leadoff hitter. He’s walked and delivered an RBI single tonight.
Keep him there.
Update II: It happened again.
Chris Davis stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth and singled in two runs to increase the Orioles’ lead to 4-0. They’re now 5-for-9 with RISP.
All of the Orioles’ scoring has come with two outs. This is the first time that Hellickson has allowed more than one run to the Orioles in five starts at The Trop.
Wieters has two stolen bases tonight, giving him three this season. He had one in the majors coming into this season.
McLouth is the 11th player to start in left field for the Orioles this season. Can you name the other 10 without looking it up?
Update III: Congratulations to Double-A Bowie shortstop Manny Machado, who hit for the cycle tonight.
Machado hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning, his 10th this season, to give the Baysox an 8-7 lead over Trenton.
Machado also has committed two errors - one throwing, one fielding - to raise his total to 22.