When Chris Davis hit a grand slam four batters into the bottom of the first inning of today’s game, it looked like the Orioles might enjoy a blowout and easy win this afternoon over the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays made an effort to keep it close, but in the end the O’s had too much power.
The Rays pulled with a run in the fifth before the O’s pulled away again to post a 12-5 victory this afternoon in front of 38,611 fans at Camden Yards. The Orioles are a season-high 15 games over .500 at 45-30 and they completed their first-ever four-game sweep of the Rays, who have lost 11 in a row.
The Orioles have won five in a row, seven of nine and 17 of the last 25 games. They are 22-13 in AL East games and 31-13 at home.
Tampa Bay left-hander Drew Smyly took the mound in the first today with a career ERA of 1.82 against the Orioles and an ERA of 0.82 in four career games in this ballpark. But he was quickly down 4-0. Adam Jones walked and singles by Joey Rickard and Manny Machado followed.
Then Davis hit a grand slam to left on a 1-2 pitch. It was his 18th homer and seventh career grand slam. Davis reached 50 RBIs on that swing, his second homer in two games after going 11 games without one. It was also his 179th homer as an Oriole and that ties Frank Robinson for ninth on the O’s all-time list. Jonathan Schoop earlier this year hit a grand slam for the Orioles and Machado has two.
The O’s lead was 6-1 after three innings. Nolan Reimold doubled in the second, went to third on Rickard’s sac bunt and scored on Jones’ bunt single. In the third Schoop’s solo homer made the lead five runs and was No. 13 for Schoop.
But O’s right-hander Tyler Wilson struggled today and gave back most of that early lead. Desmond Jennings had homered in the second and Oswaldo Arcia added a solo blast in the fourth. When Tampa Bay scored three off Wilson in fifth, it was a 6-5 game. Wilson exited after allowing 10 hits and five runs over five innings on 80 pitches.
The O’s then bashed their third homer of the day in the fifth. Mark Trumbo’s 22nd of the year was a two-run shot and the lead was 8-5. Trumbo hit 22 homers all of last year and that was in 508 at-bats. Today he hit No. 22 in at-bat No. 296.
The Orioles’ offense has been quite relentless lately. They’ve scored 20 runs the last two games, 45 in the last six and 159 runs in their past 25 games for 6.4 per game in that stretch. They’ve scored six runs or more 14 times in those 25 games. They’ve now hit 51 homers in June and the record for this month is 55 by the 1996 Oakland A’s.
Jones went 4-for-4 today and Schoop had three hits. Schoop is batting .293 for the season. During a nine-game hitting streak, Schoop is 18-for-37 (.486). Six Orioles drove in runs and seven scored them as they had 17 hits and went 6-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Dylan Bundy recorded his fourth straight scoreless outing in relief of Wilson. He went three innings and gave up just two singles with four strikeouts. Over those last four games, Bundy has pitched 9 1/3 scoreless innings on five hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts. His ERA has come down in that span from 4.94 to 3.55.
Now the Orioles fly to the west coast to begin a three-team, nine-game trip on Tuesday night at San Diego. The Orioles play two games there, four in Seattle and three in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.