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Rays Hang On To Defeat Orioles 5-4 In Opener

David Price wasn't at his best tonight, throwing 102 pitches in five innings.  He worked out of a couple of jams on the night to only give up three runs despite allowing 10 baserunners.  Price seemed to be too dependent on his fastball tonight, and the Orioles took notice.  I don't have all of the numbers because BrooksBaseball wasn't working correctly for some reason, but Price did not mix in his offspeed stuff as much as he needed to.  The Orioles have a good offense, so it was good to see Price not get totally lit up, but if the Rays are hopes of making the playoffs they're going to need him to pitch better than he did tonight.

  • -The highlight of the game for me was the performance of B.J. Upton.  I know it came against Baltimore pitching, but it was nice to see Upton have the type of game he did.  I'm sure even he was surprised at the opposite field home run he hit in the 6th inning.  Upton came up in the 8th inning a double short of the cycle, which prompted a "B.J. Up-Ton" chant from the crowd.  The same fans who boo him and rip him every time he opens his mouth about anything.  Hypocrisy is fun.  Maybe B.J. can use this series as a springboard to a strong finish to the season.
  • -Pat Burrell had a home run.  How about that.
  • -Watching Adam Jones and Nick Markakis play the outfield gives you a glimpse of how other teams must feel when Crawford and Upton are out there.  The Rays hit more than a few balls that I thought were going to easily fall for doubles, but Jones and Markakis swooped in to take them away.  It's a scary image for the next six or so years.
  • -It was good to see J.P. Howell get back to doing J.P. Howell things.  Matt Wieters is going to be a very good player one day, as you could see by his opposite field homer in the 8th inning, but having never seen J.P. Howell before he really had no chance. 
  • -I really really really never want to see Randy Choate face a right handed batter again.  I know that Matt Wieters is a switch hitter so the situation was never going to be perfect, but right handed batters hit Choate very well.  Righties carry a career .747OPS against Choate compared to a .660 for lefties. 
  • -After the game Reid Brignac was optioned back to AAA Durham to make room for the activation of Chad Bradford from the DL.  Back to having eight relievers on the roster.  Ugh.