The O's reward for winning a game started by 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner David Price is a game against right-hander Jeremy Hellickson. He is 6-3 with a 2.30 ERA in 12 career games against Baltimore. Such is life against the Rays' talented pitching staff.
Hellickson faced the Orioles a whopping six times last season, going 2-2 with a 2.38 ERA over 34 innings. Hey, at least they got a good look at the guy.
In six career home starts against Baltimore, he is 4-2 with a 1.58 ERA at Tropicana Field, allowing just seven earned runs over 40 innings.
While Hellickson had a losing record last season at 10-11, his 3.10 ERA ranked sixth in the American League. The 25-year-old right-hander stranded 82.7 percent of baserunners in 2012 and that was the best mark in all of MLB. A percentage of 72.5 was the major league average.
It probably matters little, but Hellickson's spring training numbers were not good. He had an ERA of 6.75 and gave up 33 hits, including five homers, over 22 2/3 innings in Grapefruit League games.
Wei-Yin Chen starts for the Orioles after going 12-11 with a 4.02 ERA over 32 starts last season. He was the only O's pitcher to make over 20 starts. He made five against Tampa Bay, going 1-3 with a 2.97 ERA.
Some other interesting O's stats:
* In the final three games last season at the Trop, the Orioles scored a total of five runs on 11 hits, including just four for extra bases. Yesterday, they scored seven runs on 13 hits, getting six for extra bases.
* Manny Machado became the fourth Oriole 20 or younger to start for the club on opening day. The others were Brooks Robinson (at 19 in 1957), Ron Hansen (at 20 in 1958) and Boog Powell (at 20 in 1962).
* Matt Wieters homered off David Price in the first inning yesterday. Price did not allow a first-inning homer all last year and had not given up one since July 20, 2011.
* Since last Aug. 4, the Orioles are 7-2 against Tampa Bay. They are 12-8 in their past 20 games versus the Rays.
Chris Davis HR note: Chris Davis has nine homers over his last nine regular-season games. You read that right. Davis hit seven homers over a six-game stretch in regular season games No. 156-161 last year and then did not homer in the regular-season finale. Now he has two in two games this year to total nine over his past nine regular season games. He has homered in eight of those nine games. Yes, that is pretty good.