Rays win another lopsided game against O’s

by Gary Shelton on August 8, 2021

in general

Lowe had a grand slam for the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

Sunday, 4 a.m.

Thank goodness for the Baltimore Orioles.

Bless them from the tops of their capss to their weak little pitching arms.

 The Tampa Rays continued to take the Orioles out for their occasional walk Saturday night, beating them for the 10th time in 11 games. This time, the Rays won a 12-3 stroll, getting 14 hits for the second straight night. For the season, the Rays have outscored Baltimore 85-43.

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Wonder why the Rays are in first place in the American League East? Thank the Orioles, who seem as intent on the Rays remaining in first place in the American League East as the Rays are.

Consider. As bad as the Orioles are — and they’re in last place by a lot with the highest ERA in baseball — they’ve managed to win five games against the Yankeess. this year. They won four against the Red Sox. They’ve won three against Toronto.

They’ve won once against the Rays.

The Rays actually trailed 3-2 going into the fifth inning, but once again, the Orioles' pitching faltered and the Rays homered their way to an easy win. Nelson Cruz homered -- a two-run shot -- for the second straight night. And in a five-run eighth inning, Brandon Lowe hit an opposite-field grand slam off of the foul pole.

Yandy Diaz and Wander Franco also homered for Tampa Bay. The Rays have now scored 43 runs in 41.2 innings against the Baltimore bullpen.

Not to be overlooked in the win was starter Shane McClanahan, who went seven innings for the first time in his career. McClanahan gave up four of his five hits and all three runs in the third inning, but settled down to get his sixth win against four losses.

“He was awesome," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "Really, really good. I was really encouraged with his outing. Good command, good stuff. He got his strikeouts, overcame adversity — i think it was the third inning. He did it and kept his pitch count lowe and efficient."

It was a keeper of a night for McClanahan, who was a child in Baltimore and followed the Orioles.

“Lights out," Lowe said of McClanahan. "That was incredible. The three- spot obviously was not what he wanted. being the competitor he is, I think that fired him up even more to go out there and throw more zeros. It ws pretty fun to play behind him today.

Lowe hit his 24th homer to separate the teams in the eighth. It was his second grand slam of the season.

“It feels good to be the little guy and lead the team (in homers)," Lowe said. "I let Z (Mike Zunino) and Nelly (Nelson Cruz) hear it all the time."

The Rays close out their series against Baltimore today in a 1:05 p.m. game at Camden Yards. Michael Wacha will pitch for the Rays against Jorge Lopez, who is just 3-12 on the season.

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