Saturday, June 25, 2016

O's rally on HRs to topple Rays in nightcap

The Orioles erased an early four-run deficit to take an 8-6 win in Saturday's nightcap at Camden Yards, earning a doubleheader sweep over a Rays team that has lost 10 consecutive games.
"Long day at the ballpark," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Long day for all of us. It gets longer when you lose a ballgame like that. I don't know if there's a ton to say other than we just came up short."
Jake Odorizzi started for the Rays and the Orioles chipped away at the right-hander, using home runs by Matt WietersAdam Jones, and Chris Davis to narrow the Rays' lead to 6-5.
Erasmo Ramirez took over for Odorizzi in the seventh and allowed the Orioles to tie the game on Jones' RBI single. When Manny Machado singled with one out to put runners on first and second, Xavier Cedeno entered the game to replace Ramirez. Davis greeted him with an RBI single that put the Orioles up 7-6.
"It doesn't matter if we're up early or down early," Wieters said. "We're going to play nine innings and see where we're at at the end."
The Orioles defeated the Rays, 5-0, in Game 1 behind Kevin Gausman's solid pitching performance. The right-hander retired 12 straight Rays batters from the fourth through the seventh innings en route to his second scoreless outing of the season and his first win. He allowed four hits and no walks while striking out seven in 7 2/3 innings.
"It's really hard to win both of a doubleheader," said right-hander Chris Tillman, who allowed six runs on 10 hits over five innings in Game 2. "Gausy threw the heck out of the ball in the first game and the offense and defense picked us up in the second game, so it was a good day."
Homer-happy: The Orioles entered Saturday with a Major League-leading 113 home runs on the season, but they went without a long ball in the first game of the doubleheader. They wouldn't be contained in the nightcap. Wieters blasted a two-run home run over the flag court in right field for his second career homer onto Eutaw Street (June 29, 2012). It is the third by an Oriole this season and 37th in Camden Yards history. He added another in the eighth for his first multi-homer game since Sept. 16, 2012. Jones drilled a homer into the left-field seats in the fifth and Davis hit a towering shot into the Orioles bullpen to lead off the sixth. The O's have 48 homers in June, which is eight shy of the Major League record set by Oakland in 1996.
"It always feels good to hit the barrel, so that's what I'm focusing on now," Wieters said. "It's just trying to hit the barrel as many times as possible. I was able to get a couple of pitches up and get them to go out."
Lo-Mo breaks drought: The Rays entered the nightcap of their day-night doubleheader riding a streak of 17 consecutive scoreless innings. All of that changed with a swing of Logan Morrison's bat in the first inning when he ripped a single down the right-field line to scoreLogan Forsythe, breaking the streak and giving the Rays a 1-0 lead.
Jones sprawls out: Already facing a 4-0 deficit and with the bases loaded, the Orioles desperately needed to get out of the third inning. Jaff Decker lined a ball that looked destined for the right-center gap, but center fielder Jones sprawled out for a diving catch to rob Decker of extra bases. The highlight-reel play saved at least two runs and kept the O's in the game to allow the offense a chance to mount its comeback.
"Huge play. It's like a double-play ball. That game can get away from you right there," manager Buck Showalter said. "Those are the type of split-second decisions these guys have to make at this level every night. But it's like I tell them all the time, you feel something, you've got to go for it. And if it doesn't work out, at least you don't wonder if I could have."
Fundamentals: Desmond Jennings did a nice job of setting up the Rays' sixth run when he put down a perfectly placed sacrifice bunt toward first base. That allowed Brad Miller to move to third with one out in the fifth. Oswaldo Arcia then drove him home with a sacrifice fly to center field.
"I'll take the blame for the loss today. I kind of left the bullpen out to dry. Just a bad game. It's a bad time for a bad game when the team is really scuffling and we had a lead." -- Odorizzi, on Saturday night's loss
After striking out eight-plus hitters in each of his previous three starts, Odorizzi only struck out one batter Saturday night. That matched his lowest strikeout total of the season, which was also one against the Orioles on April 26 at Tropicana Field.
The Orioles' rally helped Tillman avoid his first loss since April 14 and keep his winning streak at nine games with the no-decision.
The Rays challenged a call at second base in the top of the eighth when Nick Franklin was called out while trying to steal second. After a replay review, the call was overturned.
Rays: Drew Smyly (2-7, 4.78 ERA) will make his 15th start Sunday at 1:35 p.m. ET in Baltimore. He is 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in four career appearances at Camden Yards. He is 1-2 with a 4.81 ERA in four daytime starts this season. In eight career appearances against the Orioles, he is 4-0 with a 1.82 ERA; he has not faced the Orioles this season.
Orioles: The O's will hand the ball to Tyler Wilson (3-5, 4.19 ERA) looking to complete a four-game sweep of the Rays. Wilson, who is making his second career start against the Rays, has recorded two straight quality starts. In his last time out against the Padres, he allowed three runs on nine hits in six innings.

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