ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Steve Pearce hit a two-run homer, Ubaldo Jimenez won his second straight start and the Baltimore Orioles completed a three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays with a 3-1 victory Thursday night.
Pearce’s second homer in three days came off David Price after J.J. Hardy’s double in the second inning.
Playing first base in place of injured slugger Chris Davis, Pearce also made an outstanding stretch to catch a throw from Hardy that completed an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the fifth.
Rays manager Joe Maddon challenged the call, but the ruling that Pearce had kept his foot on the bag was confirmed after a 2-minute review.
Nick Markakis extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a single in the third.
Evan Longoria’s two-out single in the first drove in the game’s first run for the Rays.
Singles by Adam Jones, Pearce and Jonathan Schoop produced Baltimore’s final run in the fourth.
Jimenez (2-4) pitched 5 1-3 innings, giving up seven hits while striking out three. Darren O’Day worked the ninth for his second save.
Price (3-3) gave up nine hits and three runs while striking out three in five-plus innings. It was the 16th time in their last 23 games that a Rays starting pitcher has failed to pitch into the sixth inning.
The Orioles had a chance to increase their 3-1 lead when they loaded the bases with none out in the sixth. Brad Boxberger took over for Price and struck out three straight batters on nine pitches.
Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey was ejected in the first inning for arguing a checked swing by Jones.
NOTES: Baltimore C Matt Wieters was the designated hitter, one day after having his sore right elbow examined by Dr. James Andrews. No timeframe has been announced for when Wieters, who took pregame grounders at first base, will resume catching. … Davis (strained left oblique) could be ready for a short minor league rehab assignment next week. … Baltimore manager Buck Showalter will attend his son’s graduation from TCU on Saturday, but expects to be back for the night game against Houston. He will miss the May 17 game at Kansas City to attend his daughter’s law school graduation at SMU. Rays RHP Jake Odorizzi, scheduled to start Friday against Cleveland, said he can’t worry about the .465 average opponents have compiled against him the second time through the order. “You can’t really do anything about the second time through the order until you get through it the first time,” he said. … The Orioles begin a six-game homestand Friday night with LHP Wei-Yin Chen (3-2) facing Houston RHP Scott Feldman (2-1).
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