Tejada makes career debut at third with assist, error

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Miguel Tejada started getting comfortable at his new position, and the Baltimore Orioles broke in their new spring home with a bevy of long balls.

Josh Bell and Rhyne Hughes each hit two home runs as the Orioles hit six homers in winning their spring opener, 12-2 Wednesday over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Tejada made his first appearance at third base in his 13-season big league career. He was signed to a one-year contract in January by Baltimore, his second stint with the team.

Tejada cleanly fielded his first chance, retiring the first batter of the game, but made an error in the third inning.

"I feel comfortable," Tejada said. "I know I can play any position."

After training for 14 seasons in Fort Lauderdale Stadium, last year the Orioles signed a 30-year lease to play at Ed Smith Stadium, which was vacated by the Cincinnati Reds.

Fans were enthusiastic on a less than ideal day -- temperatures in the 50s with winds up to 20 mph -- but the crowd of 5,328 was far short of the 7,500 capacity.

That didn't stop the Orioles from enjoying themselves.

"It's a nice way to get started," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "You think about it all winter."

Nick Markakis was the only regular to homer. Markakis and Scott Moore hit solo shots and Bell, who was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in July for reliever George Sherrill, and Hughes, a non-roster first baseman, each hit two. Hughes' home runs were both two-run drives.

Jeremy Guthrie, who led the American League in losses last year with 17 and home runs allowed (35), pitched two scoreless innings for the Orioles.

"It felt like I hadn't pitched in five months," Guthrie said.

He gave up just one hit, struck out two and walked one.

"It's a good one to build off, nice to get out there and get the butterflies out of the way," Guthrie said.

The Rays used two of their regular starting pitchers. James Shields pitched a scoreless first inning. Matt Garza allowed Bell's home run in two innings.

Sean Rodriguez hit a solo shot in the seventh for Tampa Bay.

"We didn't hit enough fly balls," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

"I liked the way we played defense. I liked our at-bats for the most part. I thought we played a good game, they just hit more homers. A lot more."

Maddon admired Bell's home run off Garza in the third.

"The first one I thought was legit, then after that I just saw a bunch of fly balls. That's going to happen on a day like today," Maddon said.

Baltimore played nearly its entire Opening Day lineup. Luke Scott played left field in place of Nolan Reimold, who's recuperating from offseason Achilles' surgery.

Bell was the designated hitter and walked twice besides hitting the two home runs -- one from each side of the plate.

"Last year, I never got comfortable right-handed and it just made me work that much harder in the offseason," Bell said. "Sometimes, you have one of those days."

Game notes
Shields says he will pitch two or three innings against Philadelphia on Sunday in Clearwater, Fla. ... Rodriguez, INF-OF Ben Zobrist and RHPs Jeff Niemann and Andy Sonnanstine were among 18 Rays signing one-year contracts. The others were INF Reid Brignac, RHP Wade Davis, RHP Mike Eckstrom, RHP Jeremy Hellickson, C John Jaso, OF Desmond Jennings, INF-OF Elliott Johnson, OF Matt Joyce, C Jose Labaton, LHP Jake McGee, OF Fernando Perez, OF Justin Ruggiano, RHP Dale Thayer and LHP Alex Torres.