Souza stays hot to power Rays past O's, into tie for 1st
By Brittany Ghiroli and Connor Smolensky
BALTIMORE-- Red-hot Steven Souza Jr. hit his third home run in three days -- a three-run shot -- to help Tampa Bay to a 9-5 victory over the Orioles on Sunday afternoon at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and into a tie for first place in the American League East.
Souza, first among American League rookies with 10 homers, crushed Orioles starter Chris Tillman's 3-2 pitch in the fifth inning to cap a four-run frame. David DeJesus added a solo homer off Oliver Drake in the seventh. Joey Butler went 4-for-5 with two doubles for the Rays, who have won two straight since stopping a six-game slide.
"For him to come up and put together a good at-bat, probably not his best timing, he's not playing in there all the time, but impact us that way to give us an early lead was huge," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Souza's was big. Separates the game a little bit."
Baltimore's offense was all Delmon Young and Manny Machado. Young hit his first two homers of the year off Rays starter Jake Odorizzi. Machado hit a two-run shot in the seventh to chase Odorizzi from the game and went deep to start the ninth.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Souza does it again: Souza hit his third home run in three days on Sunday to push his total to a team-high 10 on the season. Souza hit solo home runs on Friday and Saturday, and added a three-run shot in Sunday's finale off of Tillman that landed in the bullpen in left-center field to give Tampa Bay a 6-2 lead in the fifth. The rookie missed the Rays' three-game series against the Mariners at the beginning of the week with a sprained left wrist, but hasn't seemed to miss a beat since returning in Baltimore. More >
"I'm just trying to take it one day at a time. I don't know that I would call it momentum into the last day," Souza Jr. said. "Everyday is getting better, it's a process. Just trying to learn and everyday get better."
A long time coming for Odorizzi: The Rays' starter picked up his first win in his last five starts on Sunday. Odorizzi went six-plus innings, allowing seven hits, four runs, two walks, three home runs and six strikeouts. Odorizzi had not won since May 4 at Boston despite having a 2.45 ERA over his last four starts.
"It's nice to get a win again that's for sure," Odorizzi said. "It's odd that it's the most runs I've given up all year and get a win for it. I guess if that's what it takes to get a win then I'll be happy to do this every time out if it gives us a win each time out."
Twice as nice: Young tallied his first multi-homer game since August 3, 2011 (with the Twins) and the fourth of his career against a Rays team that originally drafted him with a pair of solo shots. Machado turned in his second multi-homer game of the season, the fourth of his career, hitting a two-run homer in the seventh and a leadoff blast in the ninth. Machado's second homer, which was a wall-scraper to right, was confirmed after a 39-second crew-chief review. More >
Tillman's troubles continue: The Orioles' Opening Day starter lost his sixth consecutive decision -- a career-high -- as Tillman continued his inconsistent season. The right-hander is winless since April 18, and has gone 0-6 with a 6.10 ERA over that stretch. More >
"Mentally, I'm good. I feel really good with where I'm at. It's just execution, it all comes down to execution," Tillman said. "You make a pitch we get out of it, we are sitting here celebrating instead of going on the road with a loss. It's unfortunate, two guys had big days like we did. We weren't able to come out of it with a win."
"It's always a good day when you go out there and score some runs and swing the bats well," Machado said. "Hitting, we're not getting people over. We've got to do a little better job. We're getting there little by little."
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After tossing six innings today, Odorizzi has now logged 11 straight starts of six or more innings to begin the season.
Kevin Cash challenged a call made by second-base umpire Ron Kulpa when DeJesus was called out at second trying to advance on a pitch that bounced to the right of the plate off of Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph. DeJesus beat the throw and slid in head first, but overslid second by about an inch and was tagged out by Baltimore second baseman Ryan Flaherty. Following approximately a 43-second replay, the call on the field stood and DeJesus remained out.
In the ninth inning, Machado's second home run of the game was confirmed by a crew-chief review which lasted 39 seconds. Machado's fly ball landed just over the high scoreboard in right field.
WHAT'S NEXT Rays: The Rays will begin a three-game series out west against the Angels at 10:05 p.m. ET on Monday with Alex Colome (3-1, 4.55 ERA) on the mound. It's the beginning of a seven-game trip to the West Coast, as the team will follow this series with a four-game series in Seattle.
Orioles:Ubaldo Jimenez will face the Astros in consecutive starts after taking a no-decision last Wednesday. The righty went seven innings and allowed four runs on 10 hits and a walk in that outing. His start in Houston on Monday at 8:10 p.m. ET will open a four-game series at Minute Maid Park.