Orioles 2 — Rays 1
Rays 12 — Orioles 4
BALTIMORE (AP) — Michael Brosseau and Nate Lowe each hit two of Tampa Bay’s season-high six home runs, and the Rays pounded the Baltimore Orioles 12-4 Saturday night to earn a doubleheader split.
Brosseau hit a two-run drive in the second inning and a solo shot in the ninth. Lowe went deep with a man on in the sixth and the ninth. It was the first career multihomer game for both players.
Yandy Diaz and Tommy Pham also homered for the Rays, who have won four of five to move within six games of the first-place Yankees in the AL East.
In the opener of the split doubleheader, Stevie Wilkerson hit a two-run homer to back a surprisingly effective pitching performance by the Orioles in a 2-1 victory.
Not long after that, Baltimore traded its winningest pitcher, Andrew Cashner, to Boston for two 17-year-old minor league prospects. The swap hammered home the point that this year is significant to the rebuilding Orioles only in how it relates to the future.
While the Rays chase their first postseason berth since 2013, Baltimore is staggering through a major overhaul and carrying the worst record in the big leagues (28-64).
Charlie Morton (11-2) allowed two runs and six hits in the second game, outdoing John Means (7-5) in a matchup of two pitchers who were selected to the AL All-Star squad but didn’t get into the game.
In the opener, Mike Zunino hit his 100th career homer for a 1-0 lead in the third. The score stayed that way until Wilkerson connected on a 2-2 fastball from Colin Poche (2-2).
The homer came less than 24 hours after Wilkerson pitched a perfect ninth in a 16-4 loss to the Rays.
“They’re both good for the memory bank,” Wilkerson said. “I’ll never forget either of those. I’ll take today’s over yesterday’s, for sure.”
Richard Bleier (1-0) worked the seventh and issued a leadoff walk in the eighth before Mychal Givens finished for his seventh save.
Added from Triple-A Durham as the 26th man for the doubleheader, Tampa Bay starter Brendan McKay allowed three singles over five shutout innings and struck out seven . It was the third career start for the lefty, the second in which he did not give up a run.
It was the 30th doubleheader in Rays history, the third this season. Tampa Bay swept only four of those doubleheaders and has been swept 12 times. The Rays and Orioles have now played seven doubleheaders at Camden Yards. This one was created after a May 5 rainout.
Rays: 1B Ji-Man Choi (ankle) was reinstated from the injured list after the minimum 10-day stay. RHP Ian Gibaut was optioned to Triple-A Durham. ... Reliever Chaz Roe (flexor strain) has been shut down from baseball activities. The team hopes to learn the extent of the problem after it returns home on July 19. ... 2B Brandon Lowe (bruised shin) is still walking with a limp. ... Matt Duffy (hamstring) had a hit and three RBIs for Durham on Friday. The infielder will play several more games in the minors before being re-evaluated.
Orioles: RHP Dylan Bundy was placed on the 10-day IL with tendinitis in his right knee. Bundy (4-11, 5.28 ERA) gave up seven runs in the first inning of a 16-4 loss on Friday night before being pulled. Hyde hopes Bundy misses only one start. ... RHP Nate Karns (forearm strain) gave up three runs in 2/3 innings of a rehab start with Class A Frederick on Friday night. “The velo is up, he feels good physically, the results just weren’t there for him,” manager Brandon Hyde said.
Rays: Manager Kevin Cash had not named a starting pitcher for the Sunday’s game, when the Rays seek to win their ninth series on the road compared to three losses and three splits.
Orioles: Cashner was the scheduled starter for Sunday, so Hyde will have to scramble to find a replacement. One option is David Hess, who was brought in from Triple-A Norfolk to be the 26th man in the doubleheader.