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Bottom of O's lineup pounds Rays in big win

Rickard ties career high in RBIs; Gausman posts 2-run start ahead of Deadline
July 28, 2018

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles' bottom third of the lineup entered the third game of their four-game set with Tampa Bay without a member hitting above .220 on the season. By the final out of Saturday's 11-2 thrashing of the Rays, the trio raised their batting averages a collective 41 points.Joey

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles' bottom third of the lineup entered the third game of their four-game set with Tampa Bay without a member hitting above .220 on the season. By the final out of Saturday's 11-2 thrashing of the Rays, the trio raised their batting averages a collective 41 points.
Joey Rickard led the charge with two doubles and a homer for five RBIs on the night. Trey Mancini, who was everywhere at Camden Yards on Saturday -- both on the field and in the stands for his bobblehead night -- added another home run among four hits. No. 9 batter Caleb Joseph had two RBI singles. The trio was 10-for-12 with two homers, seven runs scored and nine RBIs.
"That was big. We got a lot of production out of the bottom there," manager Buck Showalter said. "I don't want to hear about soft hits or seeing-eye singles. Seems like it's been on the other foot all year.
"I hope they can bobble him again tomorrow," Showalter added of Mancini. "What's next? What else can you have? Drop a gnome on him."
For Rickard, a 2015 Rule 5 Draft selection from Tampa Bay, his five RBIs tied a career high, which he's achieved once before, also against the Rays this season. In 27 games against his former club, the outfielder is batting .286 with five homers, seven doubles and 22 RBIs.

"Just coincidence," Rickard said, downplaying his success against his former team. "It's good to see all those guys I came up with [now] in the big leagues and competing against them."
The second-to-last-place team in runs scored, Baltimore now has 26 runs in its past two games. Both wins against Tampa Bay sandwiched Saturday's "State of the Orioles" session, in which Showalter and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette reaffirmed the club's full commitment on a rebuild.
But Saturday was a nice reminder for fans -- on top of a pick-me-up for the players -- that some of the fire power that seems to have gone missing this season can still be summoned.

"Believe me, we like when the Orioles win. We all do," Showalter said. "That's the goal every night. … We're trying to win a game for the Orioles, for our side, the good guys, every night. I know the players do feed off that. They've certainly been beat down enough mentally, so it's good."
"The past is in the past. We can't change that at all," Mancini said. "Our job is to come in here and try to win games, and we are going to keep doing that no matter what."
The 11 runs on Saturday amid the offensive outbursts were more than enough for Kevin Gausman to notch his fifth win of 2018. In seven innings of two-run ball, Gausman, allowed nine hits, but only two Rays batters advanced past second under his watch.
It was a needed bounce-back performance for the righty, who, on top of being brought up in trade talks this week, had given up 13 combined runs in his past three outings.
Gausman snuffs out danger: Just before the Orioles broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth, the Rays had the chance to tie things up in the top of the inning. Daniel Robertson and Jesus Sucre occupied first and second with two outs, but Gausman fooled Willy Adames with an 83.5-mph slider for a strikeout to escape a 21-pitch inning.

"They had guys on base every inning, it seems like," Gausman said. "I pitched out of some jams, and they had some big pitches, got some ground ball outs, double plays. When our defense is playing that well, it makes you kind of put the ball in play."
Rickard entered Friday's win over the Rays with 10 RBIs in 41 games this season. He now has eight RBIs in his past two games.
"Just staying aggressive, sticking to the game plan and what the coaches talked about before," Rickard said of his success. "[Just] seeing the pitch up and put a good swing on it."

Jonathan Schoop was mere inches from setting a Major League record Saturday night. In the eighth inning, he sent an 0-1 curveball from Jose Alvarado a projected 356 feet, per Statcast™, to left field, but Joey Wendle was right there to make the leaping catch at the wall. Schoop would have been the first second baseman in MLB history to homer in six straight games.

"We all thought it was [out]," Mancini said. "A few of us up at least. Sometimes, around 10 o'clock, it kinda dies down a little bit. Maybe earlier in the game it may have gotten out. We were pretty bummed because that would have been something special. That's not easy to do -- homer in six straight games. To have it robbed is kinda tough."
"Maybe should have done this back in May to get the ball rolling then. It was a cool night here. Definitely something to appreciate." -- Mancini, on his bobblehead night
After seeing his last start washed out due to rain, Dylan Bundy (6-9, 4.57 ERA) will take the mound on short rest for the series finale against the Rays on Sunday. Bundy will try to reset after struggles throughout July, giving up at least five runs in his three starts in the month so far. First pitch at Camden Yards is set for 1:05 p.m. ET, when Bundy will counter Rays starter Yonny Chirinos (0-2, 3.78).

Zachary Silver is a reporter for based in Baltimore. Follow him on Twitter at @zachsilver .