Stop us if you’ve heard this, or something similar, before: the Tampa Bay Rays offense was missing in action Friday night, managing only three hits in a 5-0 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.
With the Rays wearing the uniforms of the Tampa Tarpons, the Cincinnati Reds Florida State League team that played in Tampa through 1987, and the Orioles wearing all orange uniforms from 1971, the results were about what you’d expect if a bunch of A ballers had gone up against Dave McNally or Jim Palmer in their prime.
Instead, it was Jeremy Guthrie allowing two hits over six innings and Luke Scott (not Brooks Robinson) going 3-for-3 with a home run, as Baltimore continued to shine under new manager Buck Showalter.
The Orioles have won nine of 11 under Showalter and had a four-game win streak broken Thursday to close out a series in Cleveland. They beat the Rays for just the third time in 10 games this season to open a three-game set at Tropicana Field.
James Shields (10-11) was roughed up for 10 hits and four runs in five-plus innings — his second consecutive subpar outing. He also walked three coming off an eight-run, four-inning start in a 17-11 loss to Toronto last Saturday.
The Rays have now lost seven of nine since a 10-1 stretch.
Guthrie didn’t get himself into much trouble, but escaped it when he did. He put two on in the first and fifth innings but bounced back with big outs each time. He retired Willy Aybar on a liner to left after Matt Joyce tripled with two down in the sixth.