- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 25, 2017

BALTIMORE (AP) - Facing the prospect of a lengthy rain delay, Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash scratched his starting pitcher and called upon his bullpen for nine innings of work.

The relievers happily - and effectively - completed the task.

Substitute starter Austin Pruitt combined with four pitchers on a two-hitter, and the Rays capitalized on Wade Miley’s wildness in a 2-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night.

Less than a half-hour before game time, on another damp and chilly night at Camden Yards, Cash opted against using starter Erasmo Ramirez for fear his outing would be cut short by rain.

Cash turned to Pruitt to handle the first leg of the bullpen relay, thus providing the rookie with his first major league start.

“That wasn’t the way I planned it,” the right-hander said. “But it was cool the way it happened.”

Pruitt allowed one hit in three innings. Danny Farquhar followed by getting two outs, Jumbo Diaz went 1 1/3 innings, Chase Whitley (1-0) contributed three perfect innings and Alex Colome worked the ninth for his fifth save.

“Obviously, the rain never came. But it worked out in our favor,” Cash said. “All of the bullpen did a tremendous job of stepping up.”

Tampa Bay pitchers retired 17 straight batters before Chris Davis drew a two-out walk in the ninth. Colome then struck out Mark Trumbo to end it.

“I think it was an unbelievable job by the guys in front of me,” Whitley said. “Pruitt set the tone and did a really good job of getting out of it early.”

Baltimore’s lone hits were a double by Jonathan Schoop in the second and an infield single by Davis in the fourth.

“They pitched real well. Made a lot of quality pitches in some really tough conditions,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “There’s a lot of excuses there if you want to reach for them, but we’re not going to.”

Showalter then, however, noted that the team didn’t have batting practice for two straight days because of the rain.

“It will be nice to get outside,” he said. “Hopefully we can get some work (Wednesday) and swing the bats better.”

Miley (1-1) gave up only four hits in seven innings, striking out eight. But the lefty issued six walks, including three in the pivotal fourth inning when Tampa Bay went up 2-0.

After Rickie Weeks Jr. and Logan Morrison walked with one out, Tim Beckham hit an RBI single and Derek Norris added a run-scoring fly ball.

“I gave us a chance,” Miley said. “Their guys did a great job of making pitches tonight, and overall the walks obviously hurt in the fourth inning. I had some command issues.”

Steven Souza Jr. had three hits for the Rays, now 2-7 on the road. Tampa Bay has drawn 14 walks in the first two games of the series.

Baltimore needs to win the finale on Wednesday night to avoid its first series loss.

ROSTER MOVE

The Orioles recalled LH Paul Fry from Triple-A Norfolk and optioned RH Stefan Crichton to the same minor league club.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rays: Souza was in the lineup after bruising his right elbow trying to catch a home run during Tuesday’s game against the Orioles. “I woke up and it wasn’t extremely unbearable,” Souza said. … RHP Jake Odorizzi (left hamstring) will throw live batting practice on Wednesday and is set to return to the active roster on Monday, manager Kevin Cash said.

Orioles: RHP Chris Tillman (shoulder) is slated to make his third rehab start Thursday against Potomac for Class A Frederick. … Closer Zach Britton will throw a bullpen session Wednesday and could begin his rehab assignment Friday. … OF Joey Rickard (sprained finger) will play a doubleheader with Class A Delmarva on Wednesday and could be activated from the DL on Friday.

UP NEXT

Rays: Alex Cobb (1-2, 4.88 ERA) starts for Tampa Bay in the series finale. The right-hander is 4-1 with a 1.84 ERA in eight career starts vs. Baltimore.

Orioles: Dylan Bundy (3-1, 1.37 ERA) has pitched 13 straight shutout innings over his last two starts, beating Toronto and Boston.

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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