Jonathan Schoop hit a solo home run and David Hess threw 6 2/3 shutout innings in his third major league start as the visiting Baltimore Orioles defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 2-0 on Friday night at Tropicana Field.
Hess (2-1) allowed four hits with three strikeouts and three walks. He escaped a few jams, the worst coming in the fifth when Mallex Smith walked and moved to third with no outs thanks to a balk and Schoop’s error while trying to catch a pickoff throw.
However, Hess retired the next three batters on groundouts and did not allow a run.
Mychal Givens finished the seventh, Richard Bleier escaped trouble and got through the eighth and Brad Brach closed it in the ninth for his eighth save.
Tampa Bay’s starter did not last as long, but that was by design.
The Rays, experimenting with a new strategy the past week, started right-handed relief pitcher Sergio Romo for the third time in seven days with the expectation that he would last no more than an inning or two as Baltimore has several right-handed power hitters up top. But Romo couldn’t finish the first inning, giving up a run on two hits.
Romo also is going to start Sunday, with reliever Ryne Stanek set to start on Saturday.
With Adam Jones already on first and two outs, Schoop appeared to strike out, but strike three was a wild pitch from Romo (1-1) that let the Orioles second baseman reach. Jones moved to second and scored when Danny Valencia doubled for a quick 1-0 lead.
Ryan Yarbrough came on and threw seven strong innings for the Rays, giving up one run on seven hits with eight strikeouts and no walks.
The lone run Yarbrough allowed came when Schoop belted his homer to left-center in the sixth for an insurance run and a 2-0 lead.
Tampa Bay threatened again in the eight, putting a runner on third with one out but Bleier got the next two batters and kept it at 2-0. The Rays put two on with one out against Brach in the ninth but came up empty — they finished 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight.
—Field Level Media