Wendle finds his muscle, leads Rays to win

by Gary Shelton on August 30, 2021

in general

Wendle drove in six runs with two homers./CARMEN MADATO

Monday, 4 a.m.

For the longest time, Joey Wendle was powerless.

For 50 games, he was, well, solid. He went to the plate 178 times, and he was, oh, dependable. Just that.

He hit .267, and he had 13 extra base hits. But the voltage seemed to have disappeared from his bat. For 50 games, Wendle was homerless, and no one was joking about him being one the Bash Brothers anymore.

Until Sunday. Wendle hit two home runs, including a grand slam, to lead the Rays to wobbly 12-8 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Wendle drove in six of

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his team's runs as the Rays won for the 18th time in 19 games against Baltimore.

This time, the Rays had trouble putting the Orioles away -- reliever Josh Fleming had a horrible outing, giving up four earned runs by the time he recorded four outs. However, the Rays have scored rather easily on Baltimore this year -- 150 runs in the season series -- and ran away with the game.

Along the way:

-- Wander Franco had two hits, stretching his on-base streak to a major-league leading 29 games.

-- Randy Arozarena, who has hit .438 against Baltimore, had two hits.

-- Austin Meadows hit his 22nd home run, driving in his 90th and 91st run.

-- Kevin Kiermaier stole the last run by scoring from first on a. bloop single to centerfield.

-- Jordan Luplow had two hits, including a home run off the foul pole.

The day, however, belonged to Wendle, who hit his first home run one pitch after Meadows' home run. He came back in the seventh to hit the team's ninth grand slam of the year.

"He said after theme run 'the Bash Brothers are back,'" Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "That was a really big day. Joey picked us up in a really big way. The Orioles put more pressure than we wanted on the pitchers."

Wendle said he took some ribbing from teammates during the streak.

"Oh, no more than I usually get," Wendle said. "I heard a couple of things from a couple of people. It’s a joke but it’s kind of serious too."

The Rays started Chris Archer, who left his previous start with a bad hip. He went four innings and gave up two earned runs.

“I don’t think it could have gone any better other than the walk in the first inning," Archer said. "I gave up the solo homer, but if you only giving up one of those and don't walk people, it’s going to bode well for the team."

The Rays now return home to face the Boston Red Sox in a game tonight at 7:05 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Luis Patino will start for the Rays against Boston's Nick Pivetta.

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