Davis struggles with command in Rays' loss
Wade Davis' high pitch count was a focal point, again.
Brad Bergesen tossed a four-hitter for his first major league shutout, Jake Fox hit a two-run homer and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-0 on Saturday.
Davis (4-3) gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings. Although the right-hander had gone 4-0 over his previous five starts, this was the third straight outing he has thrown 100 or more pitches in six innings or less.
''He threw 106 pitches today, and that's got to go away,'' Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ''Overall, he's just coming off some pitches. The results haven't been horrible to this point, but it's just his fastball command is the issue to me. We've got to get him more pitch efficient and better fastball command.''
Davis doesn't feel there's a major problem.
''I made some mistakes and they capitalized on them,'' he said.
One errant pitch by Davis was more than enough against Bergesen, who silenced the Tampa Bay bats.
''Lots of ground balls, kept the ball down in the zone,'' Maddon said of the Orioles' starter. ''We just kept pounding ball into the dirt. A lot of quick outs.''
Bergesen (1-4) picked up his first victory since last Sept. 21 at Boston. The right-hander entered 0-5 with a 9.13 ERA in five career starts against Tampa Bay.
''To be able to shut them out in their building, it's pretty impressive on Brad's part,'' Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
Tampa Bay right fielder Matt Joyce, who is hitting .360, left with cramping in his right quadriceps. Maddon said the outfielder is OK.
The Rays have not scored more than five runs in 21 home games this season. Since 1900 only two teams, the 1908 Brooklyn Superbas (26 games) and 1907 St. Louis Cardinals (22 games), have had longer stretches.
Baltimore took a 4-0 lead when Fox hit a two-run shot in the sixth off Davis. Mark Reynolds also homered for Baltimore, which improved to 18-20 this year. The Orioles didn't reach 18 victories last season until June 15, when their record was 18-47.
The Rays were held hitless after Sam Fuld's one-out single during the third. Bergesen retired 20 of his final 22 batters.
Tampa Bay had runners on first and third with one out during the first, but Bergesen got out of trouble by getting a double-play grounder from Evan Longoria. The Rays had a runner reach third in each of the first three innings, but failed to capitalize.
''First inning (double play) was a big play,'' Maddon said.
Reynolds made it 2-0 with a solo homer in the fifth, but Baltimore missed out on a chance for a big inning when Luke Scott lined out to right with the bases loaded and two outs.
Vladimir Guerrero put Baltimore up 1-0 on a first-inning RBI double. After Adam Jones hit a run-scoring single in the seventh, Derrek Lee extended the Orioles' advantage to 6-0 when he drove in a run with a double one inning later.
NOTES: Rays CF B.J. Upton was back in the lineup after a two-game suspension for his tirade after he was ejected May 4. ... Tampa Bay is 0-12 on May 14. ... Maddon said DH Johnny Damon will play in the outfield once during a three-game interleague series next weekend at Florida. ... Orioles C Matt Wieters was rested.