Rays 9, Orioles 1

The Tampa Bay Rays have never been this good this early in the

season – not even when they went to the World Series in 2008.

And don’t think for a moment they’re taking their unprecedented

success for granted.

B.J. Upton homered twice and drove in four runs, Carlos Pena hit

a three-run shot and Tampa Bay ended a dreadful homestand for the

Baltimore Orioles with a 9-1 victory Wednesday.

David Price (2-0) allowed one run and four hits in seven innings

for the Rays, whose 6-3 start is the best in franchise history.

Tampa Bay swept the three-game series, something it did only once

on the road last year.

“This is what we have to do to get to where we want to go,”

Price said. “We got to win games like this. When we’ve got a

chance for a sweep, whether it’s home or on the road, we’ve got to

come out and take care of business.”

Said Pena: “It means a lot. That is exactly what we want to do.

What just happened is behind us. But we’re enjoying the fact that

we won today and that we’re off to a good start.”

The Orioles, in contrast, are 1-8 – their worst start since

going 0-21 in 1988. Baltimore went 0-6 and was outscored 37-16

during its opening homestand against Toronto and the Rays.

“It’s not how you draw it up. You didn’t want to come in here

and start like this,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. “We

certainly had a lot of opportunities to win our fair share of the

games and we didn’t. Losing ought to say how frustrated and

disappointed everybody is.”

Against Tampa Bay, the Orioles were plagued by poor situational

hitting, untimely errors and shoddy relief pitching.

It was the opposite for the Rays.

“Tampa came in here and played great,” Trembley said. “They

got great starting pitching, they got the big hits and they played

good defense. And they’re a very good team. They took advantage of

all the opportunities that they had in all three games.”

Miguel Tejada homered for the Orioles, but Baltimore went 0 for

3 with runners in scoring position and is 10 for 66 (.152) for the

season.

“We haven’t played well,” Trembley acknowledged. “We expect

that we’ll play better.”

Orioles starter Brad Bergesen (0-1) gave up eight runs, five

earned, in three-plus innings. After enjoying a promising rookie

season in 2009, the right-hander has an 11.74 ERA after two

starts.

The Rays scored three unearned runs in the first inning,

courtesy of an error and Pena’s second homer in as many at-bats.

Tejada and shortstop Cesar Izturis both had trouble tracking a

popup in the sun, and Tejada was given an error after the ball

plopped between them on the right side of the infield. Bergesen

issued a two-out walk and Pena followed with a drive to

left-center.

“Our offense, that was their game today,” Price said. “That

was huge, to put up three runs in the first.”

Pena previously homered in the 10th inning of Tuesday night’s

8-6 win.

Upton made it 6-0 in the third with his first home run of the

season. The drive to left followed a leadoff double by Carl

Crawford and a two-out intentional walk to Pena.

Crawford chased Bergesen with an RBI double in the fourth, and

Evan Longoria added a run-scoring single for an 8-0 lead.

Tejada opened the bottom half with his second home run.

Upton completed his second career two-homer game with a solo

shot off Jason Berken in the seventh. After struggling at the plate

last season, Upton appears poised for a bounce-back year.

“That was awesome. It’s good to see him just enjoying baseball

the way he’s capable of,” Pena said. “That ball’s just jumping

off his bat and that’s exciting. And it’s just starting. I think

we’re going to see a lot of B.J. Upton in the coming weeks and the

rest of the year. It’s going to be a fun year.”

NOTES: Orioles placed struggling LH closer Mike Gonzalez on the

15-day disabled list with a strained left shoulder. … Ben

Zobrist’s 16-game hitting streak (over two seasons) ended with an

0-for-4 performance. … Tejada has both Baltimore errors this

season, and each of which led to three unearned runs.