ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — David Price scattered three hits over 7 1/3 innings, Hideki Matsui homered and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-0 on Friday night.
Price (7-3), who struck out five and walked two, retired his first 13 batters. He got some defensive help when right fielder Matt Joyce made a full-extension, tumbling back-handed catch on J.J. Hardy’s drive to end the fourth.
After Luke Scott drove in two on a single and Sean Rodriguez had an RBI bunt, Matsui hit a two-run homer off Wei-Yin Chen (4-2) to put the Rays up 5-0 in the first. Matsui, who had his contract purchased from Triple-A Durham on Tuesday, has homered in two of his three games with Tampa Bay.
Jake McGee replaced Price and struck out both batters he faced in the eighth. The Orioles loaded the bases with one out on three singles against Burke Badenhop in the ninth before Fernando Rodney struck out Mark Reynolds and got a grounder from Chris Davis for his 17th save.
Baltimore has lost six in a row and nine of 11.
Matt Wieters, mired in a 3 for 43 slide, got the Orioles’ first hit when he had a ground single to right with one out in the fifth.
Baltimore ran itself out of at least one run and possibly a big inning in the sixth. Hardy hit a fly to deep center with the bases load, but before Bill Hall reached home from third, B.J. Upton threw Steve Tolleson out attempting to advance from first to second for an inning-ending double play. Since the third out occurred before Hall crossed the plate, no run scored on the play.
Chen gave up five runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. The left-hander didn’t allow a hit after Matsui’s first-inning homer.
NOTES: Baltimore placed OF Nick Markakis (fractured right wrist) on the 15-day disabled list and purchased Hall’s contract from Triple-A Norfolk. Markakis had surgery on Friday and is expected to be out three to four weeks. Rays 3B Evan Longoria (partial tear left hamstring) could be ready to start a minor league rehab assignment by mid-June. Orioles CF Adam Jones, hit on the left wrist by a pitched ball Wednesday, was in the starting lineup and went 2 for 4. He had a 20-game hitting streak end on Wednesday. Tampa Bay OF Desmond Jennings (sprained left knee) is expected to rejoin the team during a six-game road trip next week.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)