Rutschman's homer lifts Orioles to 4-2 win over Tampa Bay
BALTIMORE - Adley Rutschman homered, Grayson Rodriguez pitched into the sixth inning and Baltimore's bullpen was solid again to help the Orioles top the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 on Tuesday night.
The Orioles snapped a three-game losing streak, their longest mini-slump of the season, and pulled within 5 1/2 games of the major league-leading Rays. Tampa Bay won the opener Monday in a three-game series between the American League's top teams.
Wander Franco and Taylor Walls homered for the Rays, who lost for only the third time in 22 games in which the team hit multiple homers.
Rodriguez (2-0) allowed seven hits in a career-high 5 2/3 innings. It was a nice rebound for the rookie right-hander after he allowed six runs against Kansas City in his previous start.
With a 4-2 lead, Rodriguez got the first two outs of the sixth before allowing a single by Isaac Paredes. Mike Baumann came on and, after a walk and a wild pitch left men on second and third, retired Christian Bethancourt on a grounder.
Yennier Cano, who has pitched 17 2/3 innings this year without yielding a run, got five outs after replacing Baumann following a leadoff walk in the seventh. Then Félix Bautista got the final four outs for his eighth save in 11 chances.
Bautista walked three hitters, including the first two of the ninth. Then Yandy Díaz bounced into a double play for a third time in the game, and Franco hit a routine flyball to right to end it.
Franco homered to put the Rays up 1-0 in the first, but Zach Eflin (4-1) couldn't hold the lead. Gunnar Henderson tripled to lead off the bottom of the third and scored on Jorge Mateo's groundout. After a two-out double by Cedric Mullins, Rutschman ended an 0-for-19 drought with a two-run shot to right.
Austin Hays hit an RBI single the following inning to make it 4-1.
Walls led off the fifth with a homer, and Tampa Bay had runners at the corners when Rodriguez struck out Randy Arozarena on a 98 mph fastball for the third out.
Rays: Manager Kevin Cash said RHP Pete Fairbanks (right forearm inflammation) will pitch for Triple-A Durham on Friday.
Orioles: Baltimore put INF Ramón Urías (left hamstring strain) on the 10-day injured list. The Orioles recalled LHP Drew Rom INF/OF Ryan O’Hearn and INF Terrin Vavra from Triple-A Norfolk, and they optioned LHP Keegan Akin to Norfolk and designated C Luis Torrens for assignment.
Baltimore's Dean Kremer (3-1) pitches the series finale Wednesday night. Tampa Bay has not announced a starter yet.