The Tampa Bay Rays plated 10-runs, belted four homers, and blew out the Orioles in Baltimore on Saturday, 10–3.
After a one hour and 12 minute rain delay, Tampa Bay charged out the gate early against Orioles’ RHP Dylan Bundy. Mallex Smith kicked things with a hard hit single up the middle, then scored all the way from first on Evan Longoria’s hit-and-run base hit right-center. After Corey Dickerson flew out to deep left center, Logan Morrison blasted a two-run homer to center (his 23rd, tying a career high) for a three-run lead.
And it’s only July 1… pic.twitter.com/plRJ0OBqEG
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) July 1, 2017
But the Orioles got on the board in the second inning against Jake Odorizzi, who again battled on the mound. Mark Trumbo walked with one out, then went to second on Wellington Castillo’s infield hit that Longoria couldn’t handle. Craig Gentry capped the rally with an RBI single to center, scoring Trumbo to make it 3–1. Odorizzi, thankfully, was able to limit damage, although he needed 36 pitches to get through the frame.
Sensing another “uh-oh” type of game, the Rays immediately answered in the third with back-to-back, two-out homers from Morrison and Steven Souza Jr. — the 11th time this season they have hit back-to-back homers, adding to the team’s club record.
What will tonight hold for LoMo?
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) July 2, 2017
Morrison’s 24th homer of the season was massive, landing on Eutaw Street at Camden Yards. He’ll receive a plaque for the feat.
— Rich Hollenberg (@RichOnSports) July 2, 2017
To be a part of this ballpark for the rest of its existence is pretty cool, Morrison said after the game.
Yet the Rays weren’t done, and in the fifth inning Souza beat out a potential inning-ending double play ball before Wilson “the Buffalo” Ramos joined in on the fun by belting a three-run homer into the bullpen in left-center off reliever Alec Asher.
Wilson Ramos skies a three-run home run to left-center field, extending the Rays’ lead to 8-1 in the top of the 5th inning
The Orioles got two runs back on Jonathan Schoop’s two-out homer off Odorizzi in the fifth. The right-hander has now given up at least one homer in 13 of his 14 starts.
The Rays, however, continued to pile it on, scoring on doubles by Smith and Dickerson, and giving them double digit runs for the eighth time this season.
On the mound, Erasmo Ramirez followed Odorizzi and gave the Rays three scoreless innings. Erasmo has now thrown four scoreless frames since transitioning back to the bullpen.
Finally Adam Kolarek, who grew up in the Baltimore area, threw a scoreless ninth in his second big league appearance; make that two innings of work without a run.
Cool moment, Baltimore area native Adam Kolarek, with a bunch of friends and relatives in stands, pitching for #Rays at Camden
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) July 2, 2017
The New What Next
The Rays will go for the death blow against the Orioles on Sunday, in the series finale. Alex Cobb (6-5, 3.73 ERA, 4.01 FIP) will get the start for Tampa Bay, opposite of Kevin Gausman (4-7, 6.07 ERA, 5.19 FIP).
Cobb flirted with a no-hitter in his start against the Pirates on Tuesday, pitching into the seventh inning without allowing a hit. Josh Harrison broke up his bid, but he still tossed eight scoreless innings and earned his fourth consecutive quality start.
Gausman has struggled with his control at points this season, but he is coming off his best outing of 2017 against Toronto. The right-hander didn’t relinquish a run for the first time this season, and allowed just four hits over 5-1/3 innings. Gausman held the opposition without an extra-base hit and allowed just two base runners past first. He wasn’t as efficient over his last couple of innings, and his pitch count hit 99 before he was removed one out into the sixth. Be that as it may, his ERA still sits at an unsightly 6.07 for the season (5.19 FIP). Key Matchups: Evan Longoria (7-24, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 3 BB), Trevor Plouffe (4-9, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI, BB), Wilson Ramos (2-6, HR, RBI), Jesus Sucre (1-3, 2B, RBI)
Rays 7/2/17 Starting Lineup
— Hey look, someone from ESPN noticed the Rays for something other than trade rumors! BFD.
Most dangerous sleeper right now: Rays. They have moved into lead for 2nd AL wildcard spot, 14-9 last 23 games, 2nd in MLB in homers.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 2, 2017