Eveland, a groundball contact pitcher who relies on his control, walked six batters (one intentionally) and hit two others in six innings of work, but allowed just three runs on five hits.  Going into the night, Eveland has walked just six batters total in 36 2/3 innings at Norfolk this season.

“Definitely very frustrating,” Eveland said. “I just couldn’t get it done today. I was trying to go sinkers away from guys and leaving them up. I hit a couple guys. I hit a guy with a 0-2 pitch, that’s obviously the last thing you want to do. It was a tough day for me. I was glad to get out of there and pitch six innings and only give up three runs and keep the team in the game. With these guys the way they are swinging, I had a good feeling about tonight so I was glad to get out of it.”

With the game tied at one, the Rays (21-13) scored two runs off Eveland in the fourth, an inning in which Eveland allowed three hits, walked two and hit a batter.

But the Orioles avoided further damage that inning when Markakis fielded Elliot Johnson’s one-out single off the right-field scoreboard and began a 9-4-2 throwout of Sean Rodriguez at home plate, a player that might have saved the game for the Orioles.

Johnson’s single plated one run to make it 2-1, but as Robert Andino’s relay throw reached catcher Matt Wieters at home plate, Rodriguez lowered his shoulder and barreled full speed into Wieters, but the Orioles’ 6-foot-5, 240-pound Gold Glove catcher held on for the out.

“I took away the plate, and you always check the replay, and I took away the plate pretty good,” Wieters said. “They always have the option to go around, but at the same time, if you take away the plate, at the same time, they always have the option to run over you, too, so it's part of the game. Thank God, I hung onto the ball."

That was a critical out. The Rays went up 3-1 that inning after Eveland issued an intentional walk to load the bases and then hit Carlos Pena on the right arm, but Eveland gotB.J. Upton to fly out to right to end the inning. 

That was all the Rays would score, despite testing Eveland – who induced nine groundball outs out of 16 on the night – to the brink.

The Orioles bullpen tossed three shutout relief innings, retiring all nine batters it faced.  Darren O’Day’s perfect seventh inning earning him the win. Pedro Strop threw a scoreless eighth and closer Jim Johnson set the Rays down in order in the ninth to earn his 10th save in as many opportunities.


eencina@baltsun.com

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