ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Austin Meadows hit a single with two outs and two runs in the ninth inning and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 on Wednesday.
Randy Arozarena hit two homers and also hit a single key as the Rays won for the 10th time in 13 games. He ended a 21-game home drought in Tuesday night’s 9-3 win over Baltimore.
“We’re a very tough team,” Arozarena said through a performer. “A very close-knit team. We all have the same mentality in that we are all working hard to get these World Series. “
Tampa Bay was trailing as Francisco Mejía started the ninth with a single against Tanner Scott (3-4) and pinch hitter Mike Zunino walked out with one out.
Arozarena then hit a flare to right field, with first baseman Ryan Mountcastle and second baseman Pat Valaika colliding in their pursuit, for a single that charged up the bases.
“I called him quite late there,” said Mountcastle. “Honestly, I didn’t know Pat was there. Here (at Tropicana Field) you can’t really put your head down and run, you have to watch the ball all the time so you don’t lose it.
“I think we were both doing that and it was a bit difficult for both of us and unfortunately we bumped into each other a bit and let him down. It’s a tough game, I think, ”he said.
After Vidal Bruján pulled out at bat, Meadows went 0-2 down the center.
“A strike away,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. “This one hurts.”
Collin McHugh (3-1) worked two scoreless innings.
Alexander Wells allowed three runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings while replacing expected Baltimore starter Keegan Akin, who was placed on the COVID-19 injured list.
Wells, who made his first career start and third overall appearance, struck out seven and scored two goals in a 93-length outing. The southpaw became the 13th Australian-born player and the third with the Orioles to make a big league start.
“I found out around 11:30 pm last night,” Wells said. “I called my parents right away, I called my girlfriend, my brother, then I tried to get some sleep. I managed to get some. I’m glad it’s a day game because I didn’t have a lot of time to think about anything. Get out and go.
Wells said family and friends back home watched the game which started at 2 a.m. local time in Australia.
In addition to Akin, outfielder Anthony Santander has also been put on COVID-19 IL.
Mountcastle hit a solo homerun in the fourth quarter. He gave Baltimore a 4-3 lead with an RBI single in the sixth inning against Matt Wisler.
Valaika hit a solo home run, her second of the year and her first since May 5, to tie her at 2 in the third.
Austin Hays of Baltimore netted an RBI brace in the first run before Arozarena dialed in for a late-run home run.
Arozarena’s second solo homerun in the fifth pulled the Rays even at 3.
Rays starter Michael Wacha allowed three runs and six hits in five innings.
Bruján, a promising rookie, was selected for Triple-A Durham after the game. He reached 0.077 (2 for 26) in 10 games.
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Other Australian born pitchers to start with Baltimore were RHP John Stephens and LHP Damian Moss.
Orioles: C Austin Wynns lost his mask when following Arozarena’s swing in the seventh. He stayed in the game.
Spokes: Zunino (left hip flexor tightening) was out of the starting lineup for the second game in a row… OF Manuel Margot (left hamstring sprain) will begin a rehab mission in the coming days with Triple-A Durham. … RHP JP Feyereisen (right shoulder discomfort) went on the 10 day IL and RHP Chris Mazza was recalled from Triple-A Durham.
Orioles: RHP Jorge López (2-12) will start Friday night’s game against Washington.
Spokes: RHP Luis Patiño (1-2) has been put on the Triple-A Durham cab team and will face Cleveland on Thursday night.
“We want him to start,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said of Patiño, 21. “He did some good things in Triple-A. A young pitcher that we have to find a way to give him a little bit of a path, create a path for him to take off here for us and hopefully tomorrow will be the start of that.
RHP Cal Quantrill (2-2) starts for the Indians.
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