Everything the Tampa Bay Rays hit Tuesday at Ed Smith Stadium seemed to go for a base hit, and they were rewarded for their relentless offensive effort with a 9-6 win over the Orioles.
The Rays swatted 19 hits and stung the ball off seemingly everyone the Orioles trotted out to the mound. The damage began off Wade Miley.
Making his fourth start of the spring, Miley allowed seven singles and was charged with three runs — all earned — in three innings.
Four of those hits came in the first inning, which Miley said was a little long for his liking.
“It wasn’t terrible; it wasn’t great,” Miley said. “It was somewhere in the middle.
“I think my command wasn’t there for the most part. These guys did some good jobs, hit some good pitches, but at the same time I wasn’t locating it where I would. I left a few pitches over the plate.”
Miley said he would have liked to have pitched a fourth inning, but said he’s on pace with where he hoped to be this time of spring.
Most every pitcher that followed him faced some degree of difficulty. Closer Zach Britton, making his spring debut, allowed two runs on four hits with a pair of strikeouts, though none of the contact was particularly good. Right-hander Darren O’Day worked around two hits for a scoreless frame, but Tyler Wilson gave up four runs on four hits and a walk in two innings.
Left-hander Richard Bleier continued his strong spring with two scoreless innings to end the game.
Rickard rakes: March is a good month to be Joey Rickard. Last year, the young outfielder played his way onto the team as a Rule 5 pick and started on Opening Day.
This year, he’s making his inclusion on the roster almost a formality. Rickard hit his third home run of the spring and second in two days when he took Rays pitcher Jacob Faria deep. He ended the day batting .385, and is showing the same patient approach at the plate that earned him plaudits a year ago.
Hardy gets a hit: Shortstop J.J. Hardy played for a second straight day as he returns to full strength from back spasms, and picked up his first hit Tuesday. But the most impressive thing Hardy did was start a first-inning double play on a hard-hit ball that took him deep behind second base.
Heim time: Former Orioles prospect Jonah Heim, who went to the Tampa Bay Rays in last July’s trade for outfielder Steve Pearce, made a trip north to Sarasota to play against his former organization and gave the Orioles a little taste of what they’re missing. Heim had two hits in two at-bats, driving in one run.
Break up the Tides: Late-inning offense hasn't been a problem for the Orioles this spring, with many of their mid-game substitutes who could be ticketed for Triple-A Norfolk coming through over the last week or so. They won in their last at-bats on Saturday and Sunday, and then tried to claw back with home runs by Chris Dickerson and Paul Janish on Tuesday.