Rays Power Past Orioles, Snell Ties Kluber With Most Wins In Majors

Rays Belt Four Homers, Hand Orioles 100th Loss

The Tampa Bays handed the Baltimore Orioles their 100th loss of the season defeating them 14-2.

Blake Snell (18-5, 2.06 ERA) picks up the win for Tampa Bay who improve to 76-64 on the season.

The win ties Snell with Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians for the most in the majors. It was Tampa Bay’s ninth straight win at home and they improve to 30-8 at home since June 11th, the best record in the majors.

Dylan Bundy (7-14, 5.58 ERA) takes the loss for the Orioles who fall to 41-100 on the season. Baltimore becomes the first team to lose 100-games in the majors this season. They lose their 100th game in their 141st game, the quickest team to 100 losses since the 2003 Tigers (134th game). It’s the fastest to 100 losses in Orioles history since 1954.

Tampa Bay blasted four homers to account for eleven of their runs. Nick Ciuffo blasted a three run shot in the second. Kevin Kiermaier hit a three run shot of his own in the third. Tommy Pham hit a solo homer in the fifth and Ji-Man Choi belted a Grand Slam in the bottom of the sixth.

Snell Impressive Again As Cy Case Grows:

Blake Snell allowed two earned runs in 5.1-innings of work. Both runs came on Joey Rickard‘s 2-run homer in the top of the sixth inning.  The two runs ended Snell’s streak of 14 consecutive starts at Tropicana Field in which he allowed just one earned run or less. The streak that dates back to September 12, 2017, the longest such streak in the majors since 1913 according to Elias Sports Bureau.

He has won six consecutive decisions, the longest streak in his career and the longest on the Rays. He’s the first Ray to win six straight decisions since Jake Odorizzi who did it from July 17 through August 25, 2016. He ties the Rays franchise mark by winning his sixth straight start (without a no-decision in between).  He joins fellow lefties David Price (2014), Matt Moore (2013), and Scott Kazmir (2008).

Ciuffo Blasts First Career Homer:

Rays Ciuffo Celebrates First Career Homer
P Photo/Chris O’Meara

Nick Ciuffo gave the Rays the early lead blasting a 3-run homer in the second inning. It as his first career home run. It also came in his first career game at Tropicana Field.

Ciuffo, 23, was selected by the Rays in the first round (21st overall) of the 2013 draft out of Lexington High School in Kentucky. His progress was slow through the minors and he was left unprotected in last winters Rule 5 draft. He wasn’t selected by any of the other 29 teams and later in the winter was hit with a 50-game suspension for marijuana.

Ciuffo becomes the fifth Rays player to homer in their first plate appearance at Tropicana Field. He joins Jake Elmore (2015) Wil Myers (2013), Joe Dillon (2009), and Terry Shumpert (2003).

Kiermaier and Pham Continue To Blister The Ball:

Kevin Kiermaier hit a three run homer in the bottom of the third. It was his third homer in his last three games and seventh on the season.  At the end of play on August 14th, he was hitting just .176, since then he has hit .348/.392/.638 (24-for-69).

Tommy Pham delivered a solo homer in the fifth inning. It was his 17th homer of the season and third with Tampa Bay. The blast also extended his batting streak to 11 consecutive games. He is hitting .309/.405/.544 (21-for-68) since being traded to the Rays.

Choi’s Grand Slam:

Ji-Man Choi delivered a Grand Slam in the sixth inning to push the Rays lead to 11-2. It was his seventh homer on the season. It was the Rays fourth Grand Slam this season. He joins Daniel Robertson who hit a slam in Los Angeles on May 19th and a walk off against Miami on July 22nd.  Kevin Kiermaier connected on his slam at Tropicana Field against the Washington Nationals on June 25th.

Velazquez Gets First Big League Hit:

Andrew Velazquez pinch hit for Kevin Kiermaier in the bottom of the seventh and singled to right for his first big league hit. He later scored his first big league run on a sacrifice fly.

“He’s got speed. He’s always had speed. He can play anywhere and he plays good defense everywhere.” Kevin Cash said of Velazquez. “It was good to see him get that first hit.”

Orioles Have Control Problems:

The Orioles pitching staff threw 181 pitches with just 93 for strikes (51.4-percent strikes). The control issues led to the Orioles walking 11 Rays batters tying a franchise mark for a 9-inning game. It’s the eighth such game for Tampa Bay and first since May 2, 2017 against the Miami Marlins. It’s also the third time an Orioles staff has walked 11 Rays batters in a 9-inning game.

“I don’t care how inexperienced you are. Certainly there are some experienced people walking people too.” Showalter said. “That’s not something you can accept.”

Minor Matters:

Rays Lowe Rookie Class
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

The MLB.com Pipeline revealed their Minor League All-Star team and the Rays were represented well with two first team and two second team players.

Nathaniel Lowe (Charlotte, Montgomery, Durham) was named the first team DH. Between three levels he slashed .330/.416/.568 with 27 HR and 102 RBI.

Colin Poche (Jackson [Arizona]/Montgomery/Durham) was named to the first team as a reliever.  He delivered a 6-0 with an 0.82 ERA, a pair of saves while striking out 110 batters in 66 innings of work.

Ronaldo Hernandez (Bowling Green) was named to the second team as a catcher. He hit .284/.339/.494 with 21 homers and 79 RBI for the Hot Rods.

Brandon Lowe (Montgomery/Durham), who we’ve already seen make his way to the Rays was also named to the second team as a second baseman. He hit .297/.391/.448 with 22 homers and 76 RBI in 380 at-bats. He’s been solid with the Rays since his callup batting .258/.372/.439 with three homers.

Up Next For Rays:

Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox
AP Photo/Winslow Townson

Tampa Bay will take on the Baltimore Orioles in the middle game of their series on Saturday night at 6:10. Diego Castillo (3-2, 3.48 ERA) will start for Tampa Bay. The Orioles are undecided.

I am a fan of all sports but am most passionate about baseball. From the fanatical to analytical, nothing about the game escapes me. Being born and raised in Northeast Ohio I'm very familiar with the heartache and pain that sports can bring and hope that I bring some understanding of the other side to my coverage. I will focus mostly on baseball but also cover the Tampa Bay Lightning, one of the most electric franchises in all of sports. Always willing to converse about any sport and have only one rule and that is be respectful at all times.