- Associated Press - Monday, April 6, 2015

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash had a tough debut.

Chris Tillman pitched into the seventh inning, and the Baltimore Orioles hit three homers while spoiling Cash’s first managerial game Monday with a 6-2 victory over the Rays.

“A lot of stuff went on,” Cash said.

Cash replaced Joe Maddon, who opted out of his contract and signed with the Chicago Cubs. At 37, he is the youngest current manager or coach among the four major pro sports leagues.

Tillman allowed one run and four hits, struck out four and walked three in 6 2-3 innings. He was working on a shutout in his second career opening day start before Evan Longoria led off the bottom of the seventh with a home run.

“To come out of it with a game that was well-pitched all the way through is important,” Tillman said.

Alejandro De Aza, Steve Pearce and Ryan Flaherty connected for the defending AL East champions, and Travis Snider had three hits in his Baltimore debut.

De Aza fouled off sixth straight pitches during a 10-pitch at-bat that produced his two-run homer off Chris Archer in the fifth.

“I think that was the difference,” Archer said. “He worked his way into getting the pitch I didn’t execute. He seized the moment.”

Pearce led off the sixth with a drive to left against Archer, who allowed four runs and six hits over 5 2-3 innings.

Snider, who was acquired in a January trade with Pittsburgh, also drove in two runs and threw a runner out at the plate from right field in the fifth.

Flaherty homered off Kirby Yates in the ninth.



Orioles: C Matt Wieters (right elbow ligament replacement surgery) is taking part in a light throwing program.

Rays: DH John Jaso left with a sprained left wrist but said X-rays and an MRI exam showed no broken bones. … LHP Drew Smyly (left shoulder tendinitis) is scheduled to start a rehab assignment Thursday with Class A Charlotte. … Minor league pitching prospect Burch Smith, obtained in the offseason trade that sent 2013 AL Rookie of the Year Wil Myers to San Diego, will have season-ending Tommy John surgery on Tuesday.


The Rays retired the No. 66 jersey worn by the late Don Zimmer, who was a senior adviser with the team when he died last June 4. The former Brooklyn Dodgers infielder and manager for several teams, including the Cubs and Red Sox, was in uniform in some capacity for 55 major league opening days. No. 66 is the third number to be retired by the Rays. Wade Boggs’ No. 12 was retired in 2000, and Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 was retired by all teams in 1997.


To mark the 20th anniversary of receiving a major league expansion franchise, the Rays invited Vincent J. Namoli, who headed Tampa Bay’s first ownership group, to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Namoli was not popular among fans during his run as managing general partner from 1995-05, however the sellout crowd of 31,042 gave him a standing ovation Monday.


Pearce looked like an easy out on Snider’s eighth-inning double. He jogged toward the plate after a throw easily beat him, but at the last second he slid under Rene Rivera’s tag. First called an out, it was overturned after a video review.

“It’s just one of those plays, a weird play, that you probably never see (again),” Rivera said.


Orioles: 1B Chris Davis will come off the restricted list Tuesday after completing a 25-game suspension for using amphetamines without a prescription.

Rays: RHP Nathan Karns, part of an opening-day roster for the first time, will make his sixth major league start on Tuesday.



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