ST. PETERSBURG -- Jacob Faria can't be a rookie, right?On Tuesday night, the right-hander took the mound in the midst of the Rays' five-game skid. He then went out and pounded the strike zone for 7 1/3 innings to aid a 5-4 win over the Orioles."Jake Faria provided everything and
ST. PETERSBURG -- Jacob Faria can't be a rookie, right?
On Tuesday night, the right-hander took the mound in the midst of the Rays' five-game skid. He then went out and pounded the strike zone for 7 1/3 innings to aid a 5-4 win over the Orioles.
"Jake Faria provided everything and more than what we needed," manager Kevin Cash said. "... There were some loud outs, but they were outs."
Faria's stint was the longest of his fledgling Major League career as he moved to 5-1 on the season. Eight of his nine outings have been quality starts, which is the most ever by a Ray through nine career appearances.
"I think I fell behind a few guys, but the big thing -- Arch [Chris Archer] texted me before the game the number 70, because the goal before the game was to throw 70 strikes in the game," Faria said. "I think being able to get ahead of guys and put them away is what helped."
Sixty-six percent of Faria's pitches went for strikes, as compared to 54.3 percent in his last start when he lost to the A's.
"He threw a ton of fastballs tonight and that opened up his offspeed pitches," Cash said. "I mean, there's something about his fastball, even though it stays in that 92 to 93 range, that he gets a lot of swing and miss, a lot of chase, and a lot of popups."
Faria got plenty of help from his defense. After the first two Orioles batters reached in the second, Welington Castillo grounded to Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, who started a 5-4-3 double-play.
Three of the first four Orioles hitters in the fifth singled to load the bases with one out for Manny Machado. While Machado did deliver a sacrifice fly to get the O's on the board, Faria did not allow any further damage, retiring Jonathan Schoop on a popout to second base to end the inning.
"[The defense] is awesome," Faria said. "You've got [a Gold Glove Award winner] at third, two shortstops in the middle, and normally [Logan Morrison's] over there [at first]. [Trevor Plouffe] is great. You've got [Peter Bourjos] running balls down in the outfield. It was great. It was awesome."
Along the way, Faria impressed Orioles manager Buck Showalter.
"He's got command and that's where it starts," Showalter said. "... Strong kid that repeats his delivery. He's not a one-pitch guy. Everything works off the command and fastball."
And Faria, believe it or not, is just a rookie. One that never seems to get rattled, either.
"I don't get shaken up when I get hit hard," Faria said. "[The Orioles are] a team that hits a lot of homers. They are going to hit the ball hard, but if they make an out, it's still an out."
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004.