ST. PETERSBURG, Florida — The Tampa Bay Rays gave rookie manager Kevin Cash a taste of how they win.
Jake Odorizzi took a two-hitter in the seventh inning, the defense erased one of just five Baltimore baserunners with a double play, and the Rays beat the Orioles 2-0 Wednesday night despite not getting very much offensive production.
"Very exciting, nice to get it out of the way for all of us," Cash said after getting his first win as a manager on any level, avoiding a sweep in the opening series at Tropicana Field.
"I was gladly introduced to what goes on after a "W," Cash said, his hair still wet from being drenched with what the young skipper in the majors would only describe as "liquids."
"Let's do it about 99 more times," the 37-year-old manager added. "That'll work."
Odorizzi (1-0) allowed two hits and struck out seven in 6 2-3 innings. Jeff Beliveau, Kevin Jepsen and Brad Boxberger finished the three-hitter.
Baltimore's Miguel Gonzalez (0-1) retired the first two batters in the Rays sixth, then walked Evan Longoria and Desmond Jennings. Pinch-hitter Brandon Guyer and Logan Forsythe drew walks from Brian Matusz to give the Rays their first lead of the year.
"There's no margin for error there," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. " We walked too many, and struck out too many times."
Odorizzi limited the Orioles to one hit — Ryan Lavarnway's third-inning double — until Alejandro De Aza singled with one out in the sixth. The young right-hander hit a batter, but didn't walk anyone and allowed just one batter past first base.
Cash replaced Joe Maddon after the former Tampa Bay manager opted out of his contract and signed with the Chicago Cubs. The Rays made the playoffs four of the past seven seasons, relying on pitching and defense overcome offensive deficiencies.
Odorizzi was happy to do his part to help Cash get his initial win.
"It's a great experience. I remember getting mine. ... It has be extra special for a manager," Odorizzi said. "He got the traditional beer shower. It was fun to be a part of that."
Gonzalez escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the first by getting Jennings to ground into an inning-ending double play. Jennings initially was ruled safe at first base, however the call was overturned after Baltimore manager Buck Showalter requested a replay review, costing the Rays a run.
Jennings' RBI single made it 2-0 in the eighth. Boxberger allowed a leadoff single in the ninth before striking out Steve Pearce, Travis Snider and Adam Jones for his first save.
Gonzalez gave up one run, three hits and five walks in 5 2-3 innings. Orioles pitchers yielded eight walks overall.
Orioles: C Matt Wieters (right elbow) threw at about 100 feet. ... SS J.J. Hardy (left shoulder) is slated to start taking swings Thursday. ... OF David Lough (left hamstring) could start a minor league rehab assignment next week.
Rays: 1B James Loney was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right oblique strain. ... LHP Drew Smyly (left shoulder) will pitch for Class A Charlotte Thursday night and could return in late April or early May. ... Closer Jake McGee (left elbow) will throw batting practice Thursday. ... RHP Alex Colome (pneumonia) is set start Saturday for Charlotte.
Orioles: Baltimore returns home for their Camden Yards opener against Toronto on Friday. Right-hander Bud Norris will get the start for the Orioles, with lefty Mark Buerhle starting for the Blue Jays. ... Pitching coach Dave Wallace will miss Monday's home game against the Yankees to attend a funeral.
Rays: Manager Kevin Cash remains undecided on who his starting pitcher will be Friday for the opener of a weekend series at Miami.
The Orioles will not play a game outside the Eastern time zone until June 1, when they open a series at Houston. The Rays, meanwhile, play 25 of their first 28 games against AL East rivals. The opening stretch comes of the heels of Tampa Bay facing the other four teams in the division in half their 30 spring training games.
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