Rays Sweep Orioles Ahead Of Weekend Series Against White Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays scored two runs in each of the first two innings to lend more than enough support to USF product Shane McClanahan, who picked up his eighth win in a 7-2 victory over the Orioles on Thursday afternoon at Tropicana Field.

The win was the Rays’ 15th in 16 games against Baltimore this season. They have three games remaining this season versus their fellow American League East club.

The Rays scored twice in the first when they loaded the bases against Baltimore starter Jorge Lopez. Austin Meadows drew a walk to force in a run and the second run scored when Ji-Man Choi grounded into a double play.

Brandon Lowe, who led off the first with a double, hit a two-run homer in the second, his 29th of the season, to give the Rays a 4-0 lead.

“Brandon is swinging as hot a bat as anybody on our team and maybe in baseball,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash.

McClanahan went five innings and allowed only one run and fanned eight. He is 3-0 against the Orioles this season.

“I felt like I did a good job of attacking the zone today,” said the lefty, who walked only one. “I felt like I was locked in. One of the things I focused on was to get ahead (in the count) early.”

The Rays roll into a three-game weekend series against the White Sox, who pace the AL Central. Michael Wacha takes the mound Friday night and he will be opposed by Lucas Giolito.

“You like to feel good about yourself heading into a series against Chicago,” said Cash. “Look forward to hopefully carrying some momentum into our three-game weekend series.”

Tom Layberger has been a sports writer and editor since 1990. Among the companies he has worked for are Beckett Publishing, The Topps Company and Comcast. In addition to being a contributing writer for sportstalkflorida.com, Tom also writes for forbes.com and Tampa Bay Business & Wealth Magazine. A native of the Philadelphia suburbs and a University of South Florida grad, Tom is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the National Football Foundation. He resides in Tampa.