Sands, Long Ball Key Rays Win Over O’s
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Jerry Sands, Yunel Escobar and Ryan Hanigan homered Monday night, helping the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-4.
Sands’ first homer since Sept. 20, 2011, a two-run, pinch-hit shot off Brian Matusz, snapped a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning. Escobar hit a solo homer in the first and Hanigan added a two-run drive in the fourth for a 3-0 lead against Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen.
Adam Jones homered for the second straight day for Baltimore, hitting a two-run shot in the sixth off rookie Jake Odorizzi, who allowed two runs and three hits over 5 1/3 innings. Delmon Young had a pinch-hit homer in the ninth off Juan Carlos Oviedo, who got the last three outs for his first save.
Sands, who drove in the winning run in Tampa Bay’s victory at Houston on Sunday, went deep on a 2-0 pitch after Matusz replaced Darren O’Day (2-1), who departed with a runner on and two outs.
The Orioles had just tied it in the top of the eighth with a run charged to Grant Balfour, loading the bases with two singles and a walk before Nelson Cruz delivered an RBI infield single.
Baltimore nearly took the lead when pinch-hitter Steve Pearce lined a pitch down the left field line, but the ball landed foul. Two pitches later, he grounded into a force play, letting Jake McGee (3-0) off the hook.
The Orioles announced before the game that two-time All-Star catcher Matt Wieters, who hasn’t played since May 10, will have season-ending surgery on his right elbow. Manager Buck Showalter said the team is hopeful Wieters, who was examined Monday by Dr. James Andrews, will be ready for opening day next year.
The Rays nearly wasted the second straight solid start for Odorizzi, who held St. Louis hitless until two outs of the fifth inning of a 1-0 loss last Tuesday. Matt Holliday homered for the only run of the game, Tampa Bay’s third consecutive shutout loss during a stretch in which they went 31 straight innings without scoring.
The Rays have won four of five since ending the streak, scoring 24 runs in those games.
Odorizzi allowed Hardy’s single and a walk with two outs in the second, escaping the jam by fanning Ryan Flaherty. The 24-year-old right-hander retired eight straight after walking Nick Markakis in the third, with the Orioles right fielder interrupting the string with a double leading off the sixth.
Jones hit his 12th homer one out later, ending Odorizzi’s night and trimming Baltimore’s deficit to 3-2.
NOTES: A moment of silence was observed before the game in honor of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, who died Monday. … The Orioles plan to activate RHP Miguel Gonzalez (strained right oblique) from the 15-day DL to start Tuesday night’s game against Tampa Bay LHP Erik Bedard. Both are 3-4 this season. … Showalter agrees with Rays manager Joe Maddon that a team shouldn’t lose a replay challenge when the contested call stands instead of being confirmed. “A great idea,” Showalter said. “He’s right. A lot of times they just say there’s nothing conclusive. You may be right, but we can’t overturn it. So, why should you be penalized for that?” … Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson (right elbow surgery) is scheduled to make his third minor league rehab start Tuesday, when Triple-A Durham visits Louisville.
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