SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — The ball was flying for Manny Ramirez — and the Baltimore Orioles.
Ramirez hit his first spring training home run for Tampa Bay, and the Baltimore Orioles connected off Andy Sonnanstine five times in two innings Tuesday during a 12-6 win over the Rays. Nick Markakis homered twice for Baltimore.
Markakis, Vladimir Guerrero and Adam Jones homered in the first, and Jake Fox and Markakis went deep in the second as the Orioles played their first game at remodeled Ed Smith Stadium.
Johnny Damon was 1 for 3 as Tampa Bay’s leadoff batter.
Sonnanstine gave up six runs in two innings. He has never given up more than four homers in any of his 117 regular-season appearances.
“That was a good way to kick it off and get the first day out of the way,” Markakis said.
Ramirez and B.J. Upton hit back-to-back homers in the sixth for Tampa Bay.
Sonnanstine gave up six runs in two innings. He has never given up more than four home runs in his 117 major league appearances.
“I came in looking to throw strikes,” Sonnanstine said. “A lot of them caught a little bit too much of the plate. Me being a strike-thrower worked against me today.”
Baltimore starting its projected opening-day lineup, except for first baseman Derrek Lee, who is recuperating from offseason surgery on his right thumb.
Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie pitched two perfect innings.
“It was nice to be back out there. Everything felt like it left off at the end of last season,” Guthrie said.
He won seven of his last 10 decisions last year after Buck Showalter became manager on Aug. 3.
“It was a lot of fun,” Showalter said. “You couldn’t have scripted it any better.”
Baltimore moved its spring training base to Sarasota last year, and since the end of spring training last season, the ballpark was completely modernized.
“It’s awesome. It’s a great facility,” Markakis said. “It’s going to help out in the long run.”
Showalter treated the day as a special one, making sure all his available regulars could play, but said that it was one of the few times during spring training that might happen.
“There’s some potential there,” Showalter said. “It wasn’t just adding statistics. It was adding a presence.”
Baltimore added four runs in the fourth as Matt Wieters, Fox, Brian Roberts and Guerrero drove in runs.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)