Tampa Bay hits four home runs in a blowout at Camden Yards
baltimore — Everybody knows something is going on with this year’s baseballs, and fans at Oriole Park got a look at the supposedly juiced ball in action Saturday, though not in a way that was particularly gratifying.
It was the Tampa Bay Rays who peppered the outer reaches of Camden Yards with four home runs on the way to a rain-delayed 10-3 victory before 28,346 that pushed the Baltimore Orioles to the brink of a three-game sweep.
First baseman Logan Morrison homered in each of his first two at-bats, with the second one landing on Eutaw Street, and Friday night hero Steven Souza Jr. followed Morrison’s second homer with a moon shot that nearly hit the Chevrolet sign behind the upper bullpen in center field.
The chief victim of Saturday afternoon’s meteor shower was the normally dependable Dylan Bundy (8-7), who had not given up more than two homers in any game this season before this one. The power show continued in the fifth when Wilson Ramos hit his second homer of the year onto the upper level of the bullpen in center off reliever Alec Asher.
“The long ball got me in trouble today obviously,” Bundy said. “Just pitches right down the middle or pitches that were up in the zone that they were able to hammer today. Tough game plan. They came out swinging the bats early. I tried to manage it, but I wasn’t able to today.”
The Orioles’ rotation has suffered from an epidemic of high pitch counts all season, but Bundy had been largely immune until the past few weeks. He slogged through a three-run first inning, gave up the back-to-back homers in the third and exited after the fourth just one pitch short of 100.
Through his first 14 starts he had pitched at least five innings in every outing. In his past three starts, he has made it through five just once and allowed 14 runs in just 151/3 innings.
Manager Buck Showalter said he thinks fatigue has been a factor. He has been trying to carve out more rest for Bundy and said he will give him an extended breather around the all-star break.
“I thought he was going to get on the horse there after that second inning,” Showalter said. “He came out and pitched well, but he elevated some balls he usually doesn’t elevate. Probably a little strong early on. It looked like he was going to corral it, but they’re doing a lot of things right right now.”
The Orioles (39-41) could have provided him a little more support against Rays starter Jake Odorizzi, who struggled with his command and needed 78 pitches to get through the first three innings, yet allowed just one run over that span. The Orioles did not get their first solid hit until Jonathan Schoop hit a two-run homer off Odorizzi in the fifth, and by that time they were trailing 8-1.
Former National Wilson Ramos points to the sky after launching a three-run home run, one of four Rays homers, in the fifth inning.