Rays blank O's behind Ramirez to end slide
BALTIMORE -- The Rays homered twice, and Erasmo Ramirez achieved season highs with seven innings and seven strikeouts to snap Tampa Bay's six-game losing streak in a 3-0 win over the Orioles at Camden Yards on Saturday.
Tampa Bay scored three runs in the first three innings, which paved the way for Ramirez. Steven Souza Jr. and Joey Butler both hit solo home runs over the tall scoreboard in right field on an 84-degree day in Baltimore.
"I think any time you get a run early it makes your pitcher feel a little more comfortable out there," Brandon Guyer said. "For the team, it could be contagious."
Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen went seven innings, giving up six hits, three runs and a walk. Chen allowed just two hits after the third inning, but the Orioles couldn't get the offense going with just three hits on the day.
"Wei-Yin pitched well," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We didn't do much."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Rays get early production: After starting the game with a double from Guyer and a single from Butler, Evan Longoria got the Rays on the board with a sacrifice fly to center. Souza followed that up with a solo homer to right field in the second inning -- his second in two days -- and Butler hit another to right in the third.
"That was a huge homer by Joey to put us over and then Longoria getting a sac fly," Souza said. "When we put those consecutive runs up I think it kind of got us going."
Ramirez goes seven: After going a season-high six innings in his last start, Ramirez eclipsed that mark by going seven innings on Saturday. The right-hander gave up three hits and walked one. Ramirez's outing makes it 25 1/3 consecutive innings that a Rays starter has not allowed a run. More >
"All my pitches were working," Ramirez said. "In my mind I was just trying to execute the pitch no matter if it was inside or outside. Just execute first and then see what happened and see how the hitter took it, and that way I could feel it out."
Out at home: The Orioles didn't mount a rally against Ramirez until the fifth. That's when Steve Clevenger led off with a single and tried to score on a two-out single from Ryan Flaherty. But Butler nailed Clevenger at home from left field with a perfect throw to prevent a run and end the inning.
Another game, another escape: Darren O'Day got out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam against the Rays on Friday night, and teammate Chaz Roe did the same thing in the eighth inning on Saturday. He struck out Longoria and then got Logan Forsythe on a line drive which Flaherty easily turned into an inning-ending double play.
"I am really happy right now. I cannot stop smiling" -- Ramirez, on his seven shutout innings vs. the Orioles
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
This was the 33rd anniversary of the start of Cal Ripken's legendary Iron Man streak. It began during the 1982 season, Ripken's first full year in the Major Leagues. He went on to play a record 2,632 consecutive games.
Rays manager Kevin Cash challenged a single by Jimmy Paredes in the bottom of the first inning after a low throw from Forsythe. The Rays' second baseman bobbled a grounder and then threw the ball in the dirt to first baseman Jake Elmore, who backhanded the throw, but Paredes was originally called safe before the play was overturned. The estimated time of replay was 55 seconds.
Rays: Jake Odorizzi will start Sunday's series finale at 1:35 p.m. ET. The right-hander is coming off a 4-1 loss to the Mariners in his last start where he threw seven innings, giving up five hits, two runs (one earned), two walks and seven strikeouts. It was Odorizzi's ninth time pitching into the seventh inning this season in 10 starts.
Orioles: Chris Tillman, who starts Sunday's finale, has lost five consecutive decisions and is without a victory in his last six starts after beginning the season 2-1. Tillman beat the Rays on Opening Day for one of those two victories this season.
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