Rays’ offense stays hot in victory over Orioles

by Gary Shelton on May 19, 2021

in general

Zunino hit two homers for Rays. / CHUCK MULLER

Wednesday, 3 a.m.

Suddenly, they are dangerous. Suddenly, they have weapons.

One more time: Are you sure those are the Tampa Bay Rays?

The Rays, inoffensive for most of the season, continued to hit like the big boys Tuesday night. They clobbered the Baltimore Orioles, 13-6, to win their fifth straight game.

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More impressively was the manner in which they did it. You've seen the Rays win five in a row before, but usually, it's about pitching and defense and just-enough hitting. This was the stuff of Murder, Inc.

The Rays had 15 hits, five of them multi-home runs, to lead their way to an easy victory. Brent Phillips (hitting .225) and Austin Meadows (hitting .218) both launched three-run homers in the second inning. Mike Zunino hit two two-run shorts. Ji-Mann Choi hit one two-run homer.

It was brutal, and it was bloody, and it was, well, kind of rare.

In their last five games, the Rays have scored 44 runs, and they're hitting. .320.

"We’ve answered enough questions about  the quiet-offense days," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "It’s nice to answer a lot of questions about when they really do the damage they're capable of."

Despite the big win, the Rays had to use five pitchers to win the game. Luis Patino started, but he was unable to get out of the fourth. Andrew Kittredge got the win to improve his record to 4-0.

Zunino now leads all major league catchers with 10 home runs. He hasn't had that many in a season since 2018.

“Once you break out of a skid like that, the flood gates open," Zunino said.
It's rare when you see a time when most of the lineup is going badly at once. It’s one of those where it’s fun to be there."

The Rays and Orioles play again tonight at 7:05 p.m. Ryan Yarbrough will pitch for Tampa Bay against John Means.

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