The Rays kicked off 2008 differently than any of their past seven seasons; with a win. The Rays defeated the Baltimore Orioles in their season opener at Camden Yards, 6-2. Obviously the Rays record is now 1-0.
James Shields was the story on the mound for the Rays today. Shields, along with Scott Kazmir was the most reliable arm for the Rays last year and he got off to a terrific start in 2008. Shields spotted the Orioles a 2-0 lead in the first inning by giving up a two run double to Kevin Millar, he was on cruise control after that. Shields didn’t allow another run over the next six innings and completed his day after seven innings and only 86 pitches. Had this game been later in the year he probably could have gone the distance. The bullpen took it from there and Dan Wheeler pitched a perfect 9th to close out the game.
The Ray offense was lead by catcher, Dioner Navarro as he racked up three hits, an RBI and scored a run. BJ Upton drove in two runs in the third inning on a single, his only hit of the day. When it was all said and done eight different Rays collected hits, including Eric Hinske who hit a solo home run in the 4th inning.
The Rays will take the day off tomorrow and continue their three game series against the Orioles on Wednesday. Matt Garza is penciled in to get the start on Wednesday in his debut with the Rays. Game time is 7:05 EST.
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