Arozarena’s 2 HRs spoil Rutschman’s debut as Rays top O’s
BALTIMORE (AP) — Randy Arozarena hit a pair of homers, Jeffrey Springs threw shutout ball into the sixth inning and the Tampa Bay Rays spoiled the debut of Baltimore Orioles top prospect Adley Rutschman with a 6-1 victory Saturday night.
The switch-hitting Rutschman was the No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft and is ranked as baseball’s No. 1 prospect by MLB Pipeline. He batted sixth and had a stand-up triple in the seventh for his first major league hit. Rutschman went 1 for 3 with a strikeout and a walk.
“Extremely blessed to be able to play this game, have people who support me and cheer for me,” Rutschman said. “Obviously, lost the game and just kind of looking forward to being with the team, trying to win games again. Obviously special that a lot of people were cheering tonight. I can’t wait to get to that normal, everyday team aspect.
“Definitely a special moment.”
Springs (2-1) made his third start since being elevated from the bullpen. He was dominant and allowed just one hit with a career-high seven strikeouts and four walks in 5 2/3 innings.
“I try to keep it as simple as possible and continue to do things that I’ve done in the bullpen that has allowed me to have success,” Springs said.
On Friday night, the Rays had a 15-game winning streak against Baltimore snapped, which had been the longest against a single opponent in club history. Tampa Bay is still 22-2 against the Orioles since the start of 2021 and has outscored them 177-84 over that stretch.
Arozarena is batting .413 (38 for 92) with 11 home runs and 25 RBIs in 23 career games against Baltimore. Three of his five career games with multiple homers have come against the Orioles.
“When I’m in the box, I try to keep my mind the same,” Arozarena said through a translator. “It doesn’t matter if it’s the Orioles or not. Luckily, I’ve been hitting well against the Orioles. Hopefully, that luck continues.”
Kevin Kiermaier batted leadoff for the first time this season and went 3 for 4 with a homer for the Rays, who have won three of four.
Baltimore’s Trey Mancini went 2 for 4 with an RBI single in the eighth off Ralph Garza Jr. and has reached base for 15 consecutive games.
Arozarena gave the Rays a 2-0 lead with a two-run homer in the first off Orioles rookie Kyle Bradish (1-3). He connected again with a solo shot in the fourth over the left-field wall for his fourth homer of the season.
“If you’re in the AL East, you’re going to get hot against a specific team,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said about Arozarena. “It’s probably going to work against you against some other teams. We’ll take it right now because we needed a good offensive performance and he gave us one.”
Tampa Bay increased the lead to 5-0 in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Ji-Man Choi and a fielder’s choice by Harold Ramirez.
Bradish allowed five runs and five hits with five strikeouts and two walks over 5 1/3 innings.
Kiermaier’s solo shot in the eighth boosted the lead to 6-0. It was his fifth of the year.
Rutschman joined Matt Wieters and Manny Machado as the only Orioles players to triple for their first major league hit.
Orioles: Recalled RHP Mike Baumann from Triple-A Norfolk, and optioned RHP Logan Gillaspie and LHP Nick Vespi to the Tides.
Rays: Wander Franco is dealing with a right quad injury and was held out of the lineup. He is also dealing with other lower-body injuries. “Every part of both legs is bothering him,” Cash said. ... Yandy Díaz was slow getting up after scoring a run in the sixth and had to leave the game with a left shoulder strain.
Orioles: INF Ryan Mountcastle (left wrist, forearm) was reinstated from the 10-Day IL and was the DH.
Rays: RHP Corey Kluber (1-2, 4.29) is 5-1 with a 2.94 ERA in 11 career starts against Baltimore.
Orioles: RHP Spenser Watkins (0-1, 5.10) is making his fifth career outing against Tampa Bay. He pitched five innings and gave up six runs and seven hits in his last start against Tampa Bay on Aug. 29.
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