ST. PETERSBURG — The Orioles threatened in the first inning and the second. They loaded the bases with one out in the fifth inning with the top of the order up and seemed poised for a big inning. But those opportunities produced only one run because Rays rookie RHP Jacob Faria kept his composure and got the outs when he needed.
The Rays hung on for a 5-4 win Tuesday that snapped a five-game losing streak, and a big reason was because Faria shot down the Orioles offense for nearly all of his career-best 71/3 innings.
The guy who turns 24 on Sunday is pitching beyond his years during the first nine starts of his career, going 5-1 with a 2.67 ERA.
"I don't care, rookie, 10-year vet, we need to win games and he's helping us win," manager Kevin Cash said.
Faria bounced back from his first career loss by getting the Orioles to miss or chase his low 90s fastball. When they did make contact, it was usually at a Rays defender.
"He's got command, and that's where it starts," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Strong kid who repeats his delivery. He's not a one-pitch guy."
Faria induced a ground ball to 3B Evan Longoria for a 5-4-3 double play for two big outs in the second inning. He got out of the bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fifth with a sacrifice fly and a grounder to 2B Tim Beckham.
"I don't get shaken up when they hit the ball hard," Faria said. "This is a team that hits a lot of homers. They're a good-hitting team. They're going to hit the ball hard, but if they make an out it's still an out. I don't really care how I make the out as long as it's made."
Longo is here, too
Orioles 3B Manny Machado has made several highlight-show plays during the first two games of the series, but Longoria showed he still has some gold in his glove during Tuesday's win.
Longoria started a 5-4-3 double play in the second inning to help stall one Orioles rally then started a 5-4-3 double play in the ninth after Orioles RF Joey Rickard reached on a throwing error by Beckham to start the inning.
"Manny Machado-esue," Cash called those plays.
KK and TT
CF Kevin Kiermaier (top left, right hip fracture) said he will begin his minor-league rehab assignment Thursday with Class A Charlotte.
The St. Lucie Mets are set to visit Saturday for a four-game series, meaning fans will be treated to a game featuring Tim Tebow and a two-time Gold Glove-winning centerfielder.
Kiermaier downplayed that talk Tuesday, but he did talk about how excited he is to return to the field and how anxious he is to return to the Rays lineup. His first day eligible to return from the 60-day disabled list is Aug. 9, when the Rays host the Red Sox.
. 1B Logan Morrison (0-for-12) and LF Corey Dickerson (0-for-11), both lefty hitters, got the night off since the Orioles started LHP Wade Miley.
. C Wilson Ramos pinch-hit Tuesday, one day after receiving six staples in his head to close a cut from a broken bat.
. Beckham hit leadoff for the seventh time this season. His second-inning homer was his first since July 4.
. RHP Tommy Hunter allowed a run Tuesday for the first time in 13 appearances.