Game 1: 6-2 win on Monday (April 6)
Game 2: 6-5 win on Tuesday night (April 7)
Game 3: 2-0 loss on Wednesday night (April 8)
What I liked / Didn’t Like:
What I Liked:
1. Travis Snider – Snider started all three games in right field, went 4-for-9 with three walks and threw out Rays first baseman James Loney at home to end the bottom of the fifth in Game 1.
2. Alejandro De Aza – De Aza started all three games in left field and went 4-for-13 with a walk. His two-run homer in the top of the fifth of Game 1 came at the end of a 10-pitch at-bat that included him fouling off six straight pitches.
3. Steve Pearce – Pearce started Games 1 and 2 at first base and served as the DH in Game 3. He hit a solo homer in Game 1 and a two-run homer in Game 2. But his most impressive feat was his slide in the top of the eighth of Game 1. Pearce, who was initially called out at home trying to score on a double by Snider, actually slid feet-first and under the tag of catcher Rene Rivera. Manager Buck Showalter challenged the play, and the call was overturned.
4. Chris Tillman’s Game 1 start – Tillman allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings.
5. Closer Zach Britton in Games 1 and 2 – Britton tossed a scoreless ninth in each game, totaling five strikeouts.
6. Reliever Darren O’Day in Game 2 – O’Day tossed 1 1/3 perfect innings after the Rays had turned a 6-0 O’s lead into a 6-5 advantage.
What I didn’t like:
1. Overall offensive production – The O’s batted just .185 (17-for-92) in the series, totaling 29 strikeouts.
2. Wei-Yin Chen’s Game 2 start – Chen went just 4 1/3 innings in Game 2, giving up three runs on four hits, two walks and a hit-by-pitch on an astounding 96 pitches. The O’s jumped out to a 6-0 second-inning lead. Chen needs to do better.
3. Miguel Gonzalez’s Game 3 start – Gonzalez went just 5 2/3 innings in Game 3, giving up three hits and five walks on 98 pitches. He did allow just one run, but you would like to see better efficiency.
4. Some shakiness from the bullpen – O’s relievers combined to allow four runs in 9 1/3 innings.
Tommy Hunter allowed an RBI double to shortstop and former Nat Asdrubal Cabrera in Game 1’s bottom of the eighth, which included Brad Brach allowing a double and a single. Brach also allowed a double and an RBI single in Game 3’s bottom of the eighth.
Kevin Gausman gave up a two-run homer and two walks in 2 1/3 innings in Game 2, during which he did record four strikeouts.
5. Two key position players – and four total – being out to begin the season – The O’s on Sunday (April 5) placed shortstop J.J. Hardy (left shoulder strain), catcher Matt Wieters (Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last June), outfielder David Lough (left hamstring strain) and infielder Jimmy Paredes (lower back strain) on the 15-day disabled list.