BALTIMORE -- Despite a paltry first half, Jonathan Schoop's name has still surfaced in non-waiver Trade Deadline rumors as the Orioles are listening to offers for everyone in their rebuild. And with every homer he hits, Schoop -- who went deep for the fifth consecutive game on Friday -- drives
BALTIMORE -- Despite a paltry first half, Jonathan Schoop's name has still surfaced in non-waiver Trade Deadline rumors as the Orioles are listening to offers for everyone in their rebuild. And with every homer he hits, Schoop -- who went deep for the fifth consecutive game on Friday -- drives that value up a notch.
The O's second baseman had a solo homer on a three-RBI night and fellow trade candidate Adam Jones -- a free agent at season's end -- delivered a three-run blast and drove in four to carry the Orioles to a 15-5 win over the Rays. Both teams had to wait one hour and 19 minutes before the first pitch, but it was worth the wait for the O's, who toppled Tampa Bay for good with an eight-run seventh inning off reliever Austin Pruitt.
"We just kept passing the baton," Jones said. "We all know what's going on with the trade rumors and stuff, but we still bring it every day. We have an opportunity and an obligation to ourselves and our teammates to come out here and play the game hard every day. It's great that everyone is still being a consummate pro."
Schoop, who hit his 16th homer of the season in the fifth inning off Rays ace Chris Archer, tied a Major League record for consecutive games with a homer by a second baseman. The last to do so was James Dozier in September 2016.
Schoop, who has a 10-game hitting streak, has taken over the role vacated by best friend Manny Machado, becoming the nightly entertainment in an often-struggling Orioles offense. The 26-year-old's most recent blast was a 446-foot shot on Archer's 0-2, 90-mph slider to make it 4-1 in the fifth. Schoop drove in two more, one apiece in both of his at-bats in the eighth.
"I just come in here and try to help my team win and block all those [trade] things out," said Schoop, who has gone 13-for-33 with six homers and 12 RBIs in the seven games since Machado was traded. "I can do nothing about it. Even if I know, what can I do? All I can do is go out there and play the game I know how to play."
Jones, who recorded the O's first RBI in the bottom of the first, added his three-run shot off Pruitt, extending his team-leading RBI total to 42 in the process. Joey Rickard hit a bases-clearing double soon after.
"You take all the hits you can get," Jones said. "I could be playing a lot worse, but I could be playing a lot better. But still playing."
Orioles starter Andrew Cashner was the beneficiary of the offensive outburst, going six innings and allowing two runs on five hits and three walks. Cashner, who picked up his first win at Camden Yards, struck out two and out-dueled Archer in what could be his final start with Tampa Bay.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Jones puts game out of reach: Jones, who may also be gone in advance of Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, strolled to the plate in a 5-3 game and helped the O's put up a crooked number. The Orioles' center fielder sent Pruitt's 0-2 curveball into left-center field to score Timothy Beckham and Schoop and make it 8-3.
"That really kind of put the nail in the coffin," Cashner said of Jones' homer. "It was big for him. I think some weight off his back getting that big home run."
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
The Orioles faced right fielder Carlos Gomez and catcher Jesus Sucre in the bottom of the eighth inning. Gomez allowed three runs on four walks and was charged with two balks. He was pulled after just one out. Sucre recorded the final two outs, surrendering a blooper to Austin Wynns but retiring Beckham and Schoop to end the inning with no further damage.
"I know as a hitter you don't like it, because you have almost nothing to gain," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of facing position players. "It counts, and they're going to try to hit him. I was impressed that they walked. They could have called a couple more balls if they wanted to. We've been fortunate we didn't have to do that. Been close a few times."
HE SAID IT
"Why didn't he tell him in April?" -- Showalter, jokingly, when asked about Schoop listening to Machado's plea to carry the torch
Kevin Gausman (4-8, 4.54 ERA), who has drawn some trade interest this year, will try to further up his value with Saturday's start against the Rays. The righty allowed five runs on three hits over 4 2/3 innings in a loss to the Red Sox on Monday. He'll square off against Rays opener Ryne Stanek (1-2, 1.86), with first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m. ET at Camden Yards.
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.