Sud­denly, an of­fen­sive on­slaught

O’s rout Tampa Bay for 2nd night in row; Rickard drives in 5 runs; Mancini has 4 hits

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - SPORTS - By Peter Schmuck

The Ori­oles have been wait­ing a long time for an of­fen­sive roll like the one they’ve been on since the All-Star break.

The Tampa Bay Rays can’t wait to get out of Bal­ti­more.

Out­fielder Joey Rickard drove in a ca­reer-high-ty­ing five runs as the Ori­oles de­liv­ered a sec­ond straight dou­ble-digit scor­ing per­for­mance, de­feat­ing the Rays, 11-2, be­fore an an­nounced 21,526 on Satur­day night at Cam­den Yards.

It was Trey Mancini’s bob­ble­head night and he had a pretty good time, too, hit­ting a home run in his first at-bat and adding three sin­gles to a huge per­for­mance by the bot­tom third of the bat­ting or­der. But it was Rickard who fol­lowed up Mancini’s sec­ond-in­ning homer with one of his own and then hit a three-run dou­ble to break the game open in the fourth.

Rickard came into the se­ries with just 10 RBIs on the sea­son, but also had a three-run dou­ble in Fri­day night’s 15-5 vic­tory. He came out of Satur­day night’s game with 18 — 13 of them against the Rays.

His other five-RBI per­for­mance came against the Rays on May 2, and in­cluded a pair of home runs.

So, what has come over the Ori­oles of­fense? Since the All-Star break — and since they traded best hit­ter Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers — they have scored 51 runs in eight games. That’s an av­er­age of 6.4 runs per game, which is quite a con­trast to the 3.1 runs per game the Ori­oles scored dur­ing the 5-17 skid that im­me­di­ately pre­ceded the break.

And what came over the lower third of the lineup for the Ori­oles (31-74)? Mancini, Rickard and catcher Caleb Joseph com­bined for 10 hits, six of them driving in runs. Mancini’s four hits were a ca­reer high.

Al­most lost in the me­teor shower was a strong seven in­nings by Ori­oles starter Kevin Gaus­man, who scat­tered nine hits, but spread them so evenly over his per­for­mance that he was never in much trou­ble. He im­proved his record to 5-8 and dropped his ERA to 4.43.

The Rays (53-52) scored a run in the sec­ond in­ning on a two-out RBI dou­ble by catcher Jesús Su­cre and added one more when Kevin Kier­maier led off the third in­ning with his fourth home run of the sea­son.

Mancini and Rickard got the Ori­oles started in the sec­ond with their back-to­back homers off Rays bullpen starter Ryne Stanek (1-3), who pitched only two in­nings be­fore turn­ing the game over to left-han­der Jalen Beeks.

The Ori­oles staged a four-run rally in the fourth in­ning that be­gan with one-out walk by Chris Davis. Danny Va­len­cia and Mancini fol­lowed with sin­gles to load the bases and Rickard poked a soft liner down to­ward the right-field cor­ner that brought all three run­ners home. Joseph brought home the fourth run with the first of his two RBI sin­gles.

The Ori­oles added another four-spot in the sixth that fea­tured run-scor­ing dou­bles by Rickard and Adam Jones, the sec­ond RBI sin­gle by Joseph and a sac­ri­fice fly by Mark Trumbo.

If there was a down mo­ment in the game, it came in the eighth in­ning when Jonathan Schoop hit a shot to left field that would have set a ma­jor league record if Rays left-fielder Joey Wen­dle had not gone over the fence to pull it back into the park.

Schoop had hit home runs in his pre­vi­ous five games, which tied the record for con­sec­u­tive games with a homer by a sec­ond base­men. He would have been all alone if that fly ball had trav­eled another foot or 2.


The Ori­oles’ Trey Mancini scores past catcher Je­sus Su­cre on a dou­ble by Joey Rickard dur­ing the sixth in­ning. Rickard has 18 RBIs this sea­son — 13 of them against Tampa Bay.

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