It happened again.
The Tampa Bay Rays have homered in the first inning in all three games of this series at Camden Yards. How often does that happen?
Desmond Jennings walloped his second leadoff homer in three nights, and Evan Longoria added a two-out solo shot to give the Rays a 2-0 lead against Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez.
The Orioles hadn’t permitted a run in the first inning before this series. Now they’ve given up four.
Kelly Johnson homered off Chris Tillman last night as the second batter of the game.
Jennings fouled off the first two pitches from Gonzalez tonight. The first ball zipped into the press with such force, it bounced back out. The second one hit the front of the box where the Tampa Bay writers are sitting.
Once he was done abusing the media, he launched a 91 mph fastball into the seats in left field. Longoria did the same after Gonzalez retired Johnson and Ben Zobrist.
Jennings was 1-for-10 against Gonzalez before tonight, but the hit was a home run.
Gonzalez hadn’t allowed a run in the first or second inning in his first two starts, and he’s been very stingy against the Rays, going 2-0 with a 1.40 ERA in his last four outings against them.
Now the Orioles must find a way to overcome a 2-0 deficit against left-hander David Price, who struck out the side in the bottom of the first inning.
Update: Gonzalez has thrown 38 pitches in two innings, including 24 in the second, when the Rays scored again to increase their lead to 3-0.
The Orioles answered back in the bottom of the second to tie the score, 3-3.
Nolan Reimold homered into the Orioles’ bullpen with two outs, giving him two homers and three RBIs this season. He’s the left fielder tonight, so he didn’t help the DH stat.
Steve Pearce flied out before Reimold came to the plate, making him 0-for-14 and Orioles DHs 3-for-48.
Gonzalez loaded the bases with one out in the top of the second on two singles and a hit batter. Jennings’ sacrifice fly scored James Loney.
Johnson walked with two outs, bringing pitching coach Rick Adair to the mound. Gonzalez threw down the rosin bag in disgust - with himself, not the mound visit.
Now he’s got a fresh start, so to speak, as the Orioles have battled back against Price.
Down on the farm, Danny Valencia left tonight’s game for Triple-A Norfolk after striking out in his first at-bat. No word on why he came out.
Update II: The Rays took a 4-3 lead in the third on J.J. Hardy’s error.
Matt Joyce singled with one out and Shelley Duncan walked. James Loney grounded to Davis, who threw to Hardy for the force at second. Hardy tried to complete the double play with Gonzalez covering first, but his throw was high and nicked off the pitcher’s glove.
Zach Britton has allowed one run in six innings for Norfolk, with five hits, two walks, two strikeouts, a wild pitch and a hit batter. He’s thrown 85 pitches, 43 for strikes. His ERA is 1.98.
Valencia was ejected after striking out.
Update III: Manny Machado’s two-out double in the fifth scored Alexi Casilla, who also doubled, and tied the game, 4-4. But Rays catcher Jose Molina hit his first home run of the season with two outs in the sixth to give Tampa Bay a 5-4 lead.
Nick Markakis, who reached on an infield hit to keep the Orioles’ rally alive, got caught in a rundown between third and home. It appeared that third base coach Bobby Dickerson tried to hold him up at the last instant. Markakis already had taken a wide turn, slammed on the brakes and tried to get back to third.
The Orioles have scored six runs off Price in 11 innings this season. They scored one against him in 22 1/3 last year.
Gonzalez was cruising along until the Molina home run. He allowed four earned runs (five total) and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings, with two walks, one strikeout, three home runs and one hit batter. He threw 101 pitches, 57 for strikes.
Another Orioles starter fails to get through the sixth.