BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles had difficulty generating offense for starter Jeremy Guthrie, which was nothing unusual.
The extent of Baltimore’s struggle at the plate on Saturday, however, was historic.
The Orioles wasted 10 walks and stranded 12 runners in an 8-2 loss to Tampa Bay. It was only the second time in franchise history that Baltimore received that many walks and scored two or fewer runs in a nine-inning game (also against Chicago on July 14, 1974).
“We’re putting too much pressure on our pitching staff,” said Derrek Lee, who went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts. “It’s just too hard when we’re scoring one and two runs every day. We are fighting hard, maybe too hard. We probably need to try to do a little less, maybe play some small-ball a little bit or something like that.”
Baltimore went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position. It was a typical performance with Guthrie on the mound: In four of his seven starts, the Orioles have failed to score while he’s in the game.
Guthrie (1-5) allowed seven runs and 10 hits in five innings. In his first five starts, the right-hander yielded nine earned runs and three homers. In his last two outings, he’s surrendered 11 runs and four home runs.
“I actually felt as sharp as I’ve felt all season,” Guthrie said. “Unfortunately, I kind of wasted it giving up big home runs with two outs.”
Evan Longoria drove in four runs with a first-inning double and a three-run homer in the third. Both hits came with two outs.
B.J. Upton made it 7-0 with a three-run homer with two outs in the fifth. Upton was in the lineup after appealing a two-game suspension handed down Saturday by Major League Baseball for his tirade after being ejected from a game Wednesday in Toronto.
Nick Markakis had three of the Orioles’ five hits and drove in both runs, with an infield hit in the seventh and a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Ben Zobrist tied a career high with four hits and scored three runs to help provide Tampa Bay rookie Jeremy Hellickson (3-2) with his usual dose of offensive support. Coming in, the Rays were averaging 9.19 runs per nine innings when the right-hander pitched.
Hellickson gave up three hits and five walks over five scoreless innings.
“I’m really glad we got the win, but I need to not walk as many people,” he said.
The Rays’ seven successive road wins ties the record set by the 2004 team. Tampa Bay had an eight-game run that began in September 2009 and ended in April 2010.
“For years, the Trop was really our haven,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “All of a sudden it’s kind of reversed roles a little bit.”
Rays left fielder Sam Fuld saved a run in the fourth with an exceptional diving catch on a sinking liner by Robert Andino with two outs and a runner on second. In the eighth, Fuld robbed Matt Wieters of at least extra bases with a leaping catch at the wall.
Down 1-0, the Orioles loaded the bases with one out in the second before Hellickson struck out Andino and retired Brian Roberts on a popup.
“That bases-loaded jam, to Andino, that was one of the only at-bats I felt real confident in my fastball,” Hellickson said. “Other than that, I had to fight through everything.”
In the Tampa Bay third, John Jaso walked and took third on a double by Zobrist before Longoria drove a 1-1 pitch deep into the left-field seats for a 4-0 lead.
Upton hit his fifth homer in the fifth, and Johnny Damon’s RBI double in the sixth made it 8-0.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)