Tampa (73-73) at Orioles (60-85)
At a time when the Orioles are counting on their young players, now and in the future, Wednesday was a game where Orioles youth was served.
Rookie right hander Chris Tillman pitched 6 2/3 innings of one-run, five-hit ball. Rookie catcher Matt Wieters hit the game winning homer, a two-run shot off Russ Springer in the last of the ninth.
Tillman tied a season high by going 6 2/3. For the first time all year he did not strike out a single batter.
In tonight’s series finale, Mark Hendrickson (5-4, 4.43) faces Tampa’s Wade Davis (0-1, 8.38).
Wieters, who knocked in five runs in Tuesday’s win, continued his assault on Tampa pitching Wednesday and he now has two homers and 8 RBI the last two games.
Wieters also became the second catcher to throw Carl Crawford out trying to steal two times in one game. He caught Crawford going for second in the 4th and 6th innings.
Wieters joins Gerald Laird, then with Texas, as the only catchers to gun down Crawford twice in one game.
The Orioles, trying to avoid another late-season fade, have won four of six games and six of the last ten. The Orioles are 12-13 over the last 25 games.
The Birds are 2-1 on this seven-game homestand and 36-38 at home on the year.
The O’s are now 20-38 vs. AL East opponents and 6-7 in September.
The Birds have scored 38 runs the last six games.
For Tampa, tonight is game 11 of an 11-game road trip. The Rays are just 1-9 on the trip so far and have lost 13 of the last 14 and 16 of their past 20 games.
Over the last 14 games, Tampa has been out-scored 79-38.
The Rays have fallen back to the even .500 mark for the first time since the team was 31-31 on June 11th.
Tampa is 2-14 in September and 25-32 since the All-Star break.
After winning just three of 18 games vs. the Rays last year, the Orioles are 7-6 vs. Tampa now. They are 4-3 in games played at Camden Yards and lead the all-time series, 103-96.
O’s hitters, this series vs. Tampa:
Izturis: 4-12, rbi
Markakis: 1-11, rbi
Mora: 5-13, two doubles, rbi
Pie: 1-9, one run
Reimold: 1-4, one run
Roberts: 5-11, 2B, rbi
Scott: 4-10, 2 2B, HR, 4 rbi
Wieters: 5-10, 2 HR, 9 rbi