(Sports Network) - After notching a walk-off win on Wednesday night, the Tampa
Bay Rays will try and take the series against the Baltimore Orioles on
Thursday at Tropicana Field.
Matt Joyce came through for Tampa Bay with the game-winning home run in the
ninth inning of Wednesday's 8-7 victory. He also ignited a three-run seventh
inning after entering the game as a pinch-hitter.
"Man, that's a great way to jump start the season," Joyce said. "No better way
to have your first win with a walk-off and just get things rolling that way. I
mean, that's a great feeling."
Shelley Duncan chipped in with a three-run homer, while Ben Zobrist was 2-
for-4 with a pair of RBI. Jeremy Hellickson, the 2011 American League Rookie
of the Year, gave up five runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings for the no-
decision. Fernando Rodney, who converted 48 of 50 saves last year, was
credited with the win despite blowing a save opportunity.
Chris Davis went 4-for-4 with four RBI for Baltimore, as his night included a
three-run blast and two doubles in a losing effort. The O's tied the game in
the top of the ninth inning on a double by Brian Roberts, but Joyce led off
the bottom of the frame and promptly ended it with his blast to right field.
Starter Wei-Yin Chen went 5 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on seven hits.
Taking the hill for Tampa Bay in the rubber match will be Roberto Hernandez,
the pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona. The right-hander was signed in
December after pitching only three games last season with the Cleveland
Indians due to visa issues.
Despite Wednesday's victory, Rays manager Joe Maddon sounded weary of facing
Baltimore's lineup going into the final game of the series.
"(Davis) is on everything right now, they all look good," Maddon said. "(Nick)
Markakis looks good, (Adam) Jones looks good, (Davis) looks good, Roberts
looks good. They've got a bunch of guys looking good right now. They're no fun
Miguel Gonzalez gets the nod for Baltimore. Gonzalez went 9-4 with a 3.25 ERA
in 18 games last season (15 starts).
Baltimore was 10-8 against the Rays last season.
The Sports Network