Myers sets tone with leadoff blast; Rodriguez, Nix also go deep
SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Rays hit Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen for six runs and rode that offensive output for a 7-4 win at Ed Smith Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
After Wil Myers' solo homer to lead off the game, Tampa Bay put up a three-run third inning on former Oriole Wilson Betemit's RBI double and a two-run homer by Sean Rodriguez. Betemit also doubled in a run in the fourth. Though Chen surrendered five of his runs in the third and fourth innings, he said through his interpreter it wasn't a rhythm issue; he just allowed more hits.
Coming off a season in which he missed about two months with an oblique strain and had minor right knee surgery this winter, Chen said health is his number one goal, and he also would like to pitch more innings.
As for how much the knee hampered his second half, Chen said, "I can't say that it didn't affect me, but I don't know actually how much. But for this year, I already got it taken care of and I'm going to concentrate on this season and I am going to be ready for the season. And I am not going to think about the knee anymore."
Rays starter Mark Lowe allowed a pair of unearned runs over 2 1/3 innings, giving up four hits over that span. O's center fielder Adam Jones, who scored three runs, doubled to chase Lowe from the game, and he later scored on an errant throw back to the mound by catcher Curt Casali.
Jones also connected for an opposite-field homer to open the bottom of the sixth inning off reliever Steve Geltz, and he pulled off a solo double steal and scored on Chris Davis' team-leading ninth RBI, a single into right field in the first inning.
Orioles reliever Suk-min Yoon went two innings in his second appearance this spring, allowing a solo homer to Jayson Nix in the fifth.
Up Next: Left-hander Cesar Ramos will start for the Rays on Thursday night when they host the Twins in a 7:05 p.m. ET contest at Charlotte Sports Park. Ramos is in a three-way battle for the fifth-starter slot with right-hander Jake Odorizzi and lefty Erik Bedard. Odorizzi will also see action against the Twins, while Bedard will pitch Friday. A decision on who will win the spot is expected Saturday.
Left-hander Scott Diamond is scheduled to start for the Twins.