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Wade Davis is second straight Tampa Bay Rays starter to struggle with control

Wade Davis walks five and hits a batter in five innings and says he never got into a good rhythm.

Associated Press

Wade Davis walks five and hits a batter in five innings and says he never got into a good rhythm.

BALTIMORE — For the second straight day, a Rays starting pitcher couldn't keep the plate from moving on him.

Wade Davis (4-2, 3.07) allowed three runs and four hits but walked five and hit a batter over five innings while picking up the win in the Rays' 5-3 victory over the Orioles on Sunday.

It was eerily similar to the five-walk performance by Jeremy Hellickson on Saturday at Camden Yards. Rays pitchers walked 18 during the three-game series, but only two of those baserunners scored.

"We got two similar pitching performances where Davis and Hellickson both had a hard time finding the plate," manager Joe Maddon said. "But we were able to work through it. The bullpen did a great job in both situations."

Hellickson was pitching with two extra days of rest, but Davis simply had no command of his fastball.

"I thought with Hellickson, the layoff had something to do with it," Maddon said. "With Wade, I don't know. We went over some things with him. We saw better velocity I thought. Just could not get the feel for where the ball was going. I do not have a good explanation. I do not. With Hellickson, I give him a hall pass with the time off. With Wade, man, if he could just pound the zone. And he's going to. The fastball was really good today. He was throwing it by some guys. But he could just not get it where he wanted to."

Davis suggested his mechanics were just a little out of synch.

"I was a little late with my arm every now and then and it just kind of peeled off and would run away from me," Davis said. "And then I'd find it again. It was just kind of coming in and out. I felt strong. My stuff felt really good. I just never really got into a good rhythm."

TRANSACTION OF THE DAY: OF Brandon Guyer's historic weekend with the Rays ended Sunday.

The Rays optioned Guyer, who homered Friday night against the Orioles in his first major-league at-bat, to Triple-A Durham and recalled RHP Rob Delaney.

With RHP Andy Sonnanstine scheduled to start Tuesday at Cleveland, the Rays needed Delaney to fill the void in their bullpen. The rookie pitched a perfect sixth inning Sunday.

Sonnanstine will take the spot in the rotation that belonged to RHP Jeff Niemann, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a lower-back strain and could miss three weeks.

"I just tried to make the most of my opportunity," said Guyer, who was informed of the move Sunday morning. "I had fun with it. Getting sent down will only motivate me that much more to get back up.

"It was a short time, but at the same time it was great. Nothing compares to being a big-leaguer. That's what I worked my whole life for. … I'm going to be determined to get back up here."

EXTRA BASES: The Rays have the day off today in Cleveland before starting a three-game series with the Indians. … Maddon said he plans for Sonnanstine to remain in Niemann's spot in the rotation until he comes off the disabled list. His last start came Oct. 2 in Kansas City on the final day of the regular season.

Wade Davis is second straight Tampa Bay Rays starter to struggle with control 05/08/11 [Last modified: Sunday, May 8, 2011 11:34pm]

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