- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 11, 2009

BALTIMORE (AP) - Melvin Mora’s third career grand slam capped a five-run first inning against Tampa Bay rookie Jeff Niemann, and the Baltimore Orioles got six shutout innings from Jeremy Guthrie in a 6-0 victory Saturday night.

Nick Markakis had two hits and an RBI for the Orioles, who have won two straight over the defending AL champions to clinch their first series win against Tampa Bay since Aug. 3-5, 2007.

Baltimore, which opened the season by taking two of three from the New York Yankees, is 4-1 for the first time since 2000.

Guthrie (2-0) allowed five hits and walked none in lowering his ERA to 2.25. It’s the first time in his career the right-hander has won his first two decisions.

Relievers Matt Albers, Jamie Walker and Chris Ray preserved Baltimore’s first shutout since Sept. 16 against Toronto.

Evan Longoria went 2-for-4 for the Rays to up his batting average to .455. But his run of four straight games with at least one RBI ended.

The first six Orioles reached base against Niemann, the only rookie on the Rays’ roster. Brian Roberts led off with a double and Niemann (0-1) hit Adam Jones with a pitch before Markakis doubled in a run. After Aubrey Huff walked, Mora hit an 0-1 pitch over the center-field wall, his first grand slam since June 2005, at Detroit.

Ty Wigginton followed with a single before Niemann finally settled down.

Guthrie, in contrast, retired the first seven Rays before Gabe Gross singled and took third on a double by Jason Bartlett. Gross was thrown out at the plate on a grounder by Akinori Iwamura, and Carl Crawford popped out.

Longoria and Carlos Pena singled to open the fourth, but neither advanced.

Baltimore went up 6-0 in the sixth. Niemann was pulled after giving up successive walks, and Roberts greeted Brian Shouse with an RBI single.

Neimann made his major league debut last year, going 2-2 in five games. Both wins came against the Orioles.

Notes:@ The Orioles have scored 16 runs in Guthrie’s two starts. … Tampa Bay free agent pickup Pat Burrell was hitless in four at-bats and is batting .125 (2-for-16). … Baltimore will add RHP Adam Eaton to the roster for Sunday’s game to start against the Rays.

(This version CORRECTS Orioles 6, Rays 0. SUBS 5th graf to correct last Orioles shutout)

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