By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer
BALTIMORE (AP) — For the third time in three games, Miguel Gonzalez yielded a home run in the first inning. In the other two starts, the Baltimore Orioles rookie effectively recovered from the mishap.
Against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night, things only got worse.
Desmond Jennings hit the first pitch of the game over the left-field wall, igniting a five-run first inning that carried Tampa Bay to a 10-1 victory.
Gonzalez (2-2) finished with this horrid line: 2 2-3 innings, seven runs, seven hits, two walks, two strikeouts, two home runs, three hit batters and a wild pitch.
“I didn’t have my stuff tonight. I was trying to do my best but it didn’t work out,” he said. “I was just trying to get back into the game after that home run, but it just didn’t happen.”
With two outs, Carlos Pena singled in a run, and Gonzalez hit two straight batters with pitches to force in a run before Elliot Johnson capped the uprising with a two-run single.
Tampa Bay newcomer Ryan Roberts added a two-run shot off Gonzalez in the third, and the right-hander faced two more batters before being lifted.
“He’s pitched well for us,” manager Buck Showalter said of Gonzalez. “Tonight, he didn’t.”
Provided a five-run lead before he took the mound, Tampa Bay lefty David Price had no problem earning his major-league leading 14th victory.
“He’s one of the best pitchers in the American League. You hate to spot him that,” Showalter said.
Price allowed one run and seven hits over seven innings, striking out 10 and walking none.
J.J. Hardy drove in the lone run for the Orioles, who must win Thursday to avert a three-game sweep.
Rays rookie Jose Lobaton finished with three hits and four RBIs, both career highs. The 10 runs were more than the light-hitting Rays totaled in their previous four games.
Roberts arrived only a few hours before game time after being traded from Arizona late Tuesday night. In addition to his home run, the third baseman scored after being hit by a pitch in the first inning and drew a walk before Lobaton’s first major league home run, a three-run drive off Matt Lindstrom in the fifth.
After Tampa Bay scored five in the first, Baltimore got a run in the bottom half when Nick Markakis singled, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Hardy.
That, however, was the extent of the Baltimore offense. The Orioles have scored four runs or fewer in eight of their last nine games.
“We’ll be better,” Showalter promised.
NOTES: To make room for Roberts, the Rays designated OF Hideki Matsui for assignment. Matsui was hitless in 16 at-bats since July 1. … Baltimore C Matt Wieters went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, He has one hit in his last 27 at-bats. … It was the 35th time the Orioles reached double digits in strikeouts, most in the AL. … The Rays improved to 18-6 when they get at least 10 hits, but their 24 games with double-digit hits are fewest in the majors. … James Shields will start for Tampa Bay on Thursday, and Baltimore will call upon Chris Tillman to end the team’s three-game skid. … Roberts was the ninth player to man third base for the Rays, most by an AL team since Toronto in 2007.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)