by Steve Carney
The Rays will be clearly happy to see Chris Davis leave St. Petersburg.
The Orioles first baseman homered and drove in four, nearly single-handedly leading the Baltimore Orioles to a 6-3 win in Thursday's rubber match with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Davis becomes just the second player in Orioles franchise history (following Frank Robinson in 1966) to hit a home run in each of the first three games of the season. He also becomes the first player since record-keeping started in 1916 to have three RBI or more in each of his team's first three games.
Tampa Bay starter Roberto Hernandez didn't allow any first-inning runs (the first time in the series that's happened), but allowed a single to Adam Jones to lead off the second before Davis hit his third homer in as many games to give Baltimore a 2-0 lead.
Tampa Bay got even in the fifth, as Evan Longoria singled to start the inning off Miguel Gonzalez. After Shelley Duncan fouled out, Yunel Escobar reached on an infield single. James Loney and Jose Molina each then singled home a run to tie it up.
The game did not stay tied long, as Hernandez (0-1) walked Nick Markakis with one out in the sixth, then gave up a single to Jones before Davis brought in both runners with a double to left to make it 4-2.
J.J. Hardy extended the lead to four runs in the eighth, hitting a two-run homer of his own off reliever Cesar Ramos after Matt Wieters singled with two out.
The Rays got a run back on an Evan Longoria single, but caught a bad break as umpires called him out for passing Ben Zobrist on the basepaths.
Tampa Bay welcomes in the Cleveland Indians for three games starting Friday night, with Matt Moore getting the start against Zach McAlister. First pitch is at 7:10, with coverage starting on 620 WDAE with Suncoast Hyundai Inside Pitch at 6:00.