The Tampa Bay Rays once again complete a sweep of the hapless Baltimore Orioles in a 7-2 beatdown on Thursday afternoon at Tropicana Field.
At the rate the Rays are beating up on the AL East cellar-dwelling Orioles, if the two teams were to play 160 games, the Rays would be 150-10; Thursday's win marked the Rays' 15th win in 16 tries. Unfortunately, the Rays only play the O's three more times this season, with those games next weekend in Baltimore.
The Rays took a 2-0 lead in the first as Austin Meadows drove in a run with a bases-loaded walk, and Wander Franco scored on a Ji-Man Choi double play ball.
In the second, with two out, Brett Phillips worked a walk, and Brandon Lowe followed with his 29th homer of the season, a new record for a Rays second baseman, besting the 28 hit by Jorge Cantu in 2005.
Tampa Bay added three more in the fourth to put the game away, Meadows once again with a bases-loaded walk and Choi this time lining a two-run single.
Rays starting pitcher Shane McClanahan gave the team five solid innings of work, allowing a run on a Richie Martin RBI single in the fifth. McClanahan struck out eight and only walked one to pick up his eighth win against four losses.
Tampa Bay faces a challenge as the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox come to town Friday for a three-game weekend set. We'll have all the action on 95.3 WDAE with Jay Recher and the Inside Pitch starting at 6 pm Friday, followed by Neil Solondz and the Rays pregame show at 6:30. First pitch is at 7:10.
COVER PHOTO: Getty Images