- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 8, 2015

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Nathan Karns finished up pretty well. His start could not have gone much worse.

Adam Jones drove in two with a double during a four-run first inning, and the Baltimore Orioles hung on to beat Karns and the Tampa Bay Rays 6-5 Tuesday night.

Steve Pearce homered for the second straight game, a two-run drive that made it 6-0 in the second for the Orioles, who won Monday’s opener 6-2.

“It’s tough to give a team a four-run lead before we even get at-bats,” said Karns, who gave up four straight hits to start the game. “I’m going to try to knock that out of the way and go from there.”

Karns pitched into the sixth inning without giving up a hit after the second.

“We needed to get some length out of him. … I cannot credit him enough,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “It could have gotten a little hairy there the way it was going. Not the most ideal situation, but what he did to pick up the rest of the game and the bullpen was outstanding.”

Pearce, from nearby Lakeland, has five homers in his last 11 games at Tropicana Field.

Baltimore’s Chris Davis went 0 for 3, including an eighth-inning fly to the warning track, and was hit by a pitch as the designated hitter in his return after a 25-game suspension for a positive amphetamine test. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Davis will play first base in Wednesday night’s series finale.

Tampa Bay got two-run homers from Kevin Kiermaier and Logan Forsythe. Kiermaier also tripled and scored the Rays’ first run.

Forsythe cut the deficit to 6-3 with a home run that culminated an 11-pitch at-bat in the fourth against Wei-Yin Chen, who allowed three runs and four hits in 4 1-3 innings.

Kiermaier made it 6-5 with his homer off Kevin Gausman (1-0) during the sixth.

“Not tough at all when you win,” Showalter said when asked how it was getting through the game. “6-0, nobody thinks the game is over by any chance. We know them. They’re going to play hard and keep trying.”

Zach Britton struck out three straight batters in a perfect ninth for his first save.

Cash has lost his first two games as manager. He replaced Joe Maddon, who exercised an opt-out clause during the offseason and became manager of the Chicago Cubs.

Travis Snider had an RBI single and Manny Machado hit a sacrifice fly in the first off Karns (0-1), who gave up six runs and five hits in 5 2-3 innings.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Orioles: SS J.J. Hardy, on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder, could start an injury rehabilitation assignment next week at Class A Frederick.

Rays: 1B James Loney was a late scratch due to a right side injury. … RHP Alex Cobb said he had his best day playing catch since being sidelined last month by right forearm tendinitis. There is no timetable for when Cobb might throw off a mound. … DH John Jaso still had soreness and restricted movement one day after spraining his left wrist sliding in the first inning.

UNIQUE DAY

Tampa Bay RHP Steve Geltz faced four batters and struck them all out in Monday’s opener. The Rays said Geltz became the first pitcher since records were first available in 1914 to pitch more than one inning and strike out every batter he faced on opening day.

“It’s pretty exciting,” he said. “It’s unreal.”

Geltz didn’t have a strikeout, but got a double-play grounder from Jones, in a scoreless inning Tuesday.

UP NEXT

Orioles: RHP Miguel Gonzalez is Wednesday night’s starter against the Rays.

Rays: RHP Jake Odorizzi will face the Orioles on Wednesday night.

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