Monday, June 27, 2016

Just a little Crush: O's slam Rays

 Chris Davis belted a first-inning grand slam and Jonathan Schoop andMark Trumbo added homers to power the Orioles to a 12-5 win on Sunday to complete their first-ever four-game sweep of the Rays. Baltimore, which is a season-high 15 games over .500, has won five straight while the Rays have dropped 11 in a row for the first time since 2009.
While the Rays chipped away at the lead against right-hander Tyler Wilson, who allowed five runs on a career-high 10 hits, the Orioles never trailed after Davis cleared the bases four batters into the bottom of the first. Adam Jones reached base in all five of his plate appearances, going 4-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.
"To have the team be able to come in and sweep a four-game series, including a doubleheader and then a day game the next day, to do that against a team…especially a team in our division is just a huge win," Wilson said. "I think it speaks a lot of volumes about the caliber of this club and the fight they have in it."
Trumbo's two-run shot on a first-pitch fastball in the fifth inning was his 22nd of the season, which leads the majors. With the long ball, Trumbo has matched his 2015 home-run total in 67 fewer games. Trumbo added an RBI single in the eighth to cap a three-RBI day.
"We got in a big hole pretty early," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We continue to look at the positives the way the offense battled back. A lot of guys swing the bat well. We pieced together our hits. We have to be able to prevent them from scoring runs."
Left-hander Drew Smyly matched his career high with eight runs allowed, including all three blasts to the Orioles. The O's have hit a Major League-leading 120 home runs, including 50 in June. With three games left in the month, they are five shy of tying Oakland (1996) for the most ever in June.
"They're hitting good pitches," Smyly said. "It just seemed like every ball found a hole. It's no denying they kind of beat me up today. They beat us up all series. They have a really good lineup, one through nine, they all hit home runs. They all have really high averages. That's why they're in first place right now. That's a really good team."
Rays outfielders Desmond Jennings and Oswaldo Arcia hit solo shots off Wilson, and Arcia added a two-run double -- falling a triple shy of the cycle.
"Things are not going well here right now," Arcia said. "I can see that. We're looking forward to getting back to Tampa and winning some ballgames."
First-inning slam: After swinging and missing on two straight sliders and barely checking his swing on a third, Davis capitalized on a 1-2 fastball. The O's slugger sliced Smyly's pitch down the left-field line for his seventh career grand slam. Baltimore loaded the bases with a walk and consecutive singles. Davis' seven grand slams since 2011 are the most in the Majors during that span, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
"After I got two strikes on me I was trying to see the ball up," Davis said. "He threw a fastball out over the plate, and I got enough of it to hit it out. I was glad to come back and have a productive at-bat after two not-very-aggressive swings." More >
Smyly stumbles at Camden Yards: Smyly had dominated the Orioles over his career, especially at Camden Yards. Entering Sunday's game, Smyly was 2-0 with 0.82 ERA in four games (three starts) in Baltimore. He had allowed 12 hits, two earned runs, five walks and 25 strikeouts over that span. Those fortunes changed, though, with Davis' slam. Another homer by Schoop in the third and Trumbo in the fifth marked the seventh time he's yielded multiple long balls this season. Smyly tied a season high by allowing eight runs on 10 hits over five innings.
"I think we all put pressure on ourselves to give this team a win and perform at a high level," Smyly said. "That's why we're up here. That's why it's just so disappointing when it doesn't happen."
Arcia making an early impression: Arcia is looking to get his career back on track after being traded from the Twins to Tampa Bay on Friday. Making his second straight start for the Rays, the left-handed hitting outfielder hit a solo homer in the fourth and had a two-run double an inning later. Tampa Bay has four outfielders on the DL, so Arcia is going to have more opportunities to impress.
"I feel good," Arcia said. "I am not trying to do too much at the plate. It's nice being able to come here pretty much from the beginning and contribute."
Bundy shines in relief: Right-hander Dylan Bundy continued a strong June with three scoreless innings in relief of Wilson. The former fourth overall pick in the 2011 struck out four while allowing two hits. In June, Bundy has surrendered two runs in 12 innings while striking out 13. After missing most of the past three seasons with injury, including all of 2013, Bundy has pitched out of the bullpen for the O's this year. While he's been a starter his entire career, he doesn't have any minor-league options left so the Orioles have tried to keep him healthy by using him in middle relief.
"Dylan was probably one of the keys to the game," manager Buck Showalter said. "Really proud of how he's kind of come on and been a contributor as opposed to a guy who's out of options." More >
"We have the support of our front office without a doubt. They listen and hear everything. You just kind of have to grind through it a little bit. You do what you can to stay positive. But it is difficult to do because we're losing ballgames in many different ways right now." -- Cash, on the team's struggles More >
Wilson's win Sunday was his first career victory at Camden Yards. The 26-year-old's five career Major League wins entering Sunday all came on the road.
Rays: Left-hander Blake Snell (0-2, 2.40 ERA) will be making his fourth Major League start Monday in the opener of a three-game home series with Boston at 7:10 p.m. ET. He is going to need the Rays to play better defense behind him if he is going to earn his first victory. Tampa Bay has committed five errors over Snell's 15 innings as a starter.
Orioles: After an off-day, the O's open a three-city West Coast trip Tuesday against the Padres at 10:10 p.m. ET. Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez (4-7, 6.97 ERA), making his second straight start since returning to the rotation from the bullpen, will get the ball in the first game of the two-game series. Jimenez allowed two runs in six innings against the Padres on Wednesday.

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