Cruz ends home run drought (O’s win 2-0)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - It was bound to happen again.

Nelson Cruz hadn’t hit a home run since June 3 in Arlington, Texas. He wasn’t going to be shut out for the remainder of the season.

That sort of power outage only happens in New Orleans during the Super Bowl.

Cruz launched a 91 mph fastball from Rays reliever Kirby Yates in the top of the eighth inning, the ball smacking off a light hanging from the C ring catwalk.

The catwalk. Yeah, the catwalk.

It’s the third ball to hit the C ring in fair territory this season and the second in two games.

Despite Cruz’s longball lull, he still leads the majors with 22 homers and 58 RBIs. The Orioles, meanwhile, are holding a 2-0 lead as Tommy Hunter returns to the mound for the bottom of the eighth.

Zach Britton continues to warm in the Orioles bullpen. Hunter retired the side in order in the seventh, but Yunel Escobar flied to the wall in center field.

Update: Game over. The Orioles take the series with a 2-0 win over the Rays before 12,448 at Tropicana Field.

The Orioles registered their sixth shutout of the season and improved to 7-1 against the Rays.

Hunter retired all six batters he faced - his first outing with two clean innings this season - and Britton notched his ninth save in 10 opportunities.

Britton struck out two of the three batters he faced.

The Orioles are 37-34 overall, 21-17 on the road and 8-7 in two-run games.

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