ST. PETERSBURG (620 WDAE) -- The Tampa Bay Rays saw their "opener" strategy pay off again, as Ryne Stanek retired all five hitters he faced, while Anthony Banda pitched over six innings in relief. Meanwhile the bats scored five timesoff Andrew Cashner in the first two innings to lead to a 5-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles Saturday at Tropicana Field.
After Stanek worked a perfect first inning, Tampa Bay immediately went to work on Cashner, with C.J. Cron singling with one out and coming around to score on a triple by Joey Wendle for a 1-0 advantage.
Ramos plated Wendle with a double for a 2-0 advantage, but was tagged out after oversliding the bag.
Stanek and Banda combined for a shutdown second and the Rays went right back to work, as Mallex Smith led off the frame with a single, and Daniel Robertson followed with a base hit of his own. Rob Refsnyder drove in Smith with a single two batters later, and after Brad Miller struck out, Cron picked his teammate up by driving in both runners for a 5-0 lead.
Baltimore did not get their first hit of the afternoon until Danny Valencia tripled off Banda (1-0) in the fifth, but the left-hander struck out Chris Davis and Joey Rickard and induced a ground ball out from Andrew Susac to strand him 90 feet from scoring.
The Orioles finally got on the scoreboard in the seventh, as Manny Machado led off the inning with a double, and Davis drove him in three batters later on a base hit away from the shift,
Baltimrore would get no closer, as Banda would finish out the eighth, and Chaz Roe worked a quiet ninth to end the game.
BANDA BACK TO MINORS: After Saturday's game, the Rays optioned Banda, who threw 81 pitches in earning the win, to Triple-A Durham, and will make a corresponding move Sunday.
Tampa Bay Rays (24-26) vs. Baltimore Orioles (17-35). 1:10 p.m. first pitch, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 11:00 a.m. with The Inside Pitch presented by Crown Eurocars
Rays Starter - RHP Sergio Romo (1-1, 4.66 ERA)
Orioles Starter - RHP Kevin Gausman (3-3, 3.48 ERA)
Monday - Rays at Oakland A's, 4:05 p.m. first pitch
Tuesday - Rays at Oakland A's, 10:05 p.m. first pitch
Wednesday - Rays at Oakland A's, 10:05 p.m. first pitch
Thursday - Rays at Oakland A's, 3:35 p.m. first pitch