Shields, Rays can't finish off sweep of Orioles

BY foxsports • July 26, 2012

BALTIMORE (AP) -- One bad inning cost the Tampa Bay Rays a chance to complete a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles.

The Orioles batted around in a five-run fifth against James Shields, who struggled with his control in the Rays' 6-2 loss Thursday.

Shields (8-7) pitched six innings, allowing five runs, six hits and a season-high five walks. Most of his problems occurred in the pivotal fifth inning, when he gave up three hits, walked two and hit a batter with a pitch.

With the bases loaded and one out, Adam Jones drove in two runs with a single. A walk to Matt Wieters filled the bases for Chris Davis, who collected three RBIs with a double into the gap in left-center.

"It came down to three hits and me walking too many guys," the right-hander said. "I was able to execute my pitches for the most part all day besides the walks. I left a bad pitch over the plate to Jonesy and Davis hit a pretty good curveball."

Shields is 0-2 in his last four starts, but Rays manager Joe Maddon had no problem with his execution against the Orioles.

"He had really good stuff; just missed with some pitches," Maddon said. "They did a good job of taking some borderline pitches. They got some hits, some ground balls that made it through and that's going to happen on occasion."

Sam Fuld drove in both runs for Tampa Bay with a two-run double in the seventh. After scoring 10 runs in a blowout win on Wednesday night, the Rays managed only seven hits, went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position and grounded into three double plays.

"It was their day today, it was not our day," Maddon said. "However, if for the rest of the season whenever we play a team three games and we win two of them, I'm very, very happy. You get greedy when you win the first two ... but they've been playing pretty well."

Nick Markakis had two hits for the Orioles, who had scored only one run in each of their three previous games. It was just the second time in 10 games that Baltimore scored more than four runs.

Chris Tillman (3-1) allowed two runs, five hits and four walks in six-plus innings. It was the 40th career start for the right-hander, who was coming off a solid effort in Cleveland and now has won two straight decisions for the first time.

"I think confidence has a lot to play into it," Tillman said. "It comes down to getting my delivery right. I put a lot of hard work in during the offseason and coming in, so I'm happy with where I'm at right now."

After the Rays chased Tillman by scoring twice in the seventh, Davis hit his 16th home run of the season off Burke Badenhop in the bottom half. Davis hadn't collected more than one RBI in a game since July 2 and came in batting .152 in 30 games since June 15.

"It meant a lot especially with the quick turnaround from last night," Davis said. "Sometimes you're going to be hot, sometimes you're not, but hopefully we'll start stringing hits together and put some runs up on the board."

NOTES: The Orioles recalled LHP Dana Eveland and optioned INF Steve Tolleson to Triple-A Norfolk. ... Wieters went 0 for 11 in the series and is mired in a 1-for-30 skid ... In his second game with the Rays, Ryan Roberts went 0 for 2 with two walks. ... The Rays continue their first trip since the All-Star break in Los Angeles on Friday night. The Orioles host Oakland on Friday night. ... Tampa Bay's bullpen had a run of 21 straight scoreless innings snapped when Davis homered off Badenhop. ... Desmond Jennings notched his 18th stolen base for the Rays, including 17 straight without being caught.

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