Win Probability table courtesy of Fan Graphs.
Baltimore-Jamie Shields continued his torrid start to the season on Wednesday night, pitching a nine inning shutout in Camden Yards against the Baltimore Orioles. But unfortunately, a scenario thought unthinkable even last week has come to fruition as the Devil Rays' offense continued to struggle. The Rays were held at the whim of Orioles starter Erik Bedard, as well as the relievers brought in after his departure, and it took the Rays' relief corps all of two batters to quickly surrender the game's first run, a solo shot by former Ray Aubrey Huff, and Tampa Bay dropped the second game of their series to the Orioles, 1-0 in ten innings on Wednesday night.
Shields continued his recent string of dominant outings. He succeeded in pitching well in nearly every facet possible, despite a lower strikeout total than he had in some previous starts, to keep the Rays in the ballgame and match Orioles ace Erik Bedard toe to toe. He surrendered just three hits over the course of the ballgame, while walking just one. He faced just three batters more than the minimum, and though he did surrender far more flyballs than would be wanted, that would end up being a minor glitch in an otherwise spectacular outing for the righty. It was easily the best start of his career, and the Rays' best of the season. Shields kept his pitch count economical throughout the ballgame, which allowed him to throw nine innings of work and leave the game having thrown just 107 pitches.
Shields was matched toe to toe by Orioles starter Erik Bedard for seven innings of work. Bedard struck out ten batters and walked just three in his outing, to go along with three hits, but was pulled before the eighth having thrown 97 pitches. Former Ray Danys Baez pitched a scoreless eighth to preserve the scoreless tie, and Chris Ray also threw a scoreless frame, despite allowing a double to Rays RF Delmon Young in the process. Tampa Bay loaded the bases in the 10th inning against John Parrish, but Rays 2B B.J. Upton grounded out to retire the extra frame. Brian Stokes came on to relieve Shields in the tenth, and got C Ramon Hernandez to fly out before Aubrey Huff nailed the third pitch he saw from Stokes into the Orioles' bullpen over the left-center field fence for the walkoff win. Huff has hit two of his four home runs thus far on the year against the Rays, the other coming at Tropicana Field in mid-April. The blast was Huff's second hit of the day; the Orioles had four total to seven for the Devil Rays.
The Rays weren't really able to do much of anything offensively on the day, leaving 11 men on base in the loss. Jorge Cantu got the start at first and had two hits for the Rays before being removed from the ballgame. LF Carl Crawford also had two hits, one of them being a double, but ultimately none of Tampa Bay's baserunners were able to cross the plate on a disappointing evening in front of 14,780 in Baltimore.
7:10; FSN Florida
RAYS RADIO/WHNZ 1250 AM
|RAYS||RH Jamie Shields||43.1||3.71||9.35||1.87||5.00||7.27||.650||1.45||1.02||1.17||14.52|
|BAL||LH Erik Bedard||40.0||5.63||10.35||3.88||3.07||9.45||.808||1.58||1.43||1.33||17.50|