The Tampa Bay Rays (72-47) defeated the Baltimore Orioles (38-79) 9-2 on Monday night at Tropicana Field. The win pushes the Rays to a 3.5 game lead over the Red Sox in the American League East.
The Orioles struck first with a run in the third inning, but the Rays began to mount their offense in the fourth. Austin Meadows drove in two with a triple in the fourth, before the Rays got homers from Kevin Kiermaier and Brandon Lowe as well as a RBI double from Joey Wendle in the fifth to take a 5-1 lead.
In the sixth inning Brett Phillips hit an inside-the-park home run, before Brandon Lowe hit his second homer of the night to right field, to lift the lead to 8-1. Mike Brosseau added a homer in the seventh as the Rays went on to a 9-2 win.
Collin McHugh pitched two shutout innings to start the game before giving way to Josh Fleming (10-6, 4.86) who pitched five and two thirds innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits while striking out two and walking one.
The Rays look to make it two in a row when they meet the Orioles in the second game of their three game series on Tuesday night. First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:10 PM - pregame coverage begins at 6 PM with Jay Recher and the Inside Pitch on 95.3 WDAE & AM 620.
PHOTO COURTESY GETTY IMAGES