The Tampa Bay Rays started the second half of the regular season by putting together one of the best hitting performances in franchise history, pounding out seven runs in the first inning and never looking back, defeating the Baltimore Orioles 16-4 Friday at Camden Yards.
Tampa Bay sent 11 men to the plate in the first inning against Orioles starter Dylan Bundy, with eight different players coming up with a hit, starting with Tommy Pham's 14th home run of the year on the first pitch he saw.
Kevin Kiermaier then doubled and scored on a base hit by Yandy Diaz. Nate Lowe doubled Diaz to third, his first of four hits on the night, and a wild pitch by Bundy brought in Diaz for a 3-0 lead, and a base hit by Wendle pushed the advantage for four runs. A single by Travis d'Arnaud and doubles by Willy Adames and Austin Meadows finished off the inning and made sure Bundy would not see a second frame.
Lowe pushed the lead to 9-0 in the second off Gabriel Ynoa, blasting an opposite-field two-run homer, his third of the year.
Baltimore got on the board in the home half of the third on a base hit by Jonathan Villar off Rays starter Yonny Chirinos, but Tampa Bay immediately got the run back in the fourth as Avisail Garcia's double play grounder scored Diaz. Renato Nunez homered off Chirinos in the bottom of the fourth, but it would be the Rays scoring the next six runs, including a five-run top of the seventh against both Ynoa and Asher Wojciechowski.
After Chirinos (8-4) pitched the first seven innings, Ian Gibaut made his big league debut with a 1-2-3 eighth, but gave up a pair of runs in the ninth before closing out the contest.
The win is Tampa Bay's third straight, and helped the Rays keep pace with the New York Yankees, remaining 6 1/2 games behind for the division lead.
Tampa Bay Rays (53-39) at Baltimore Orioles (27-63), 1:10 pm and 7:10 pm first pitches, with coverage beginning at noon and 6:00 pm, respectively, on WDAE with The Inside Pitch.
Rays Game 1 starter: LHP Brendan McKay (1-0, 2.45 ERA)
Orioles Game 1 starter: RHP Aaron Brooks (2-3, 5.01 ERA)
Rays Game 2 starter: RHP Charlie Morton (10-2, 2.32 ERA)
Orioles Game 2 starter: LHP John Means (7-4, 2.50 ERA_