By TODD KARPOVICH, Associated Press
BALTIMORE (AP) — Randy Arozarena hit a pair of home runs, Jeffrey Springs threw the white ball in the sixth inning and the Tampa Bay Rays spoiled the debut of the Baltimore Orioles’ top prospect, Adley Rutschman, with a win 6 -1 Saturday evening.
The switch-hitting Rutschman was the No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft and is ranked baseball’s No. 1 prospect by MLB Pipeline. He hit sixth and had a standing hat-trick in seventh for his first major league hit. Rutschman went 1 for 3 with one strikeout and one walk.
“I’m extremely lucky to be able to play this game, to have people supporting me and cheering me on,” Rutschman said. special that a lot of people were cheering tonight. I can’t wait to get to that normal, everyday team aspect.
“Definitely a special moment.”
Springs (2-1) made his third start since being lifted from the bullpen. He was dominant and allowed just one hit with a career-high seven strikeouts and four walks in 5 2/3 innings.
“I try to keep it as simple as possible and keep doing things that I did in the bullpen that allowed me to be successful,” Springs said.
On Friday night, the Rays rode a 15-game winning streak against Baltimore, which had been the longest against a single opponent in club history. Tampa Bay is still 22-2 against the Orioles since the start of 2021 and has outscored them 177-84 during that streak.
Arozarena is batting .413 (38 for 92) with 11 home runs and 25 RBIs in 23 career games against Baltimore. Three of his five career multi-homer games have come against the Orioles.
“When I’m in the box, I try to keep the same spirit,” Arozarena said through an interpreter. “It doesn’t matter if it’s the Orioles or not. Fortunately, I hit well against the Orioles. Let’s hope that luck continues.
Kevin Kiermaier kicked off for the first time this season and went 3-for-4 with a homer for the Rays, who won three of four.
Baltimore’s Trey Mancini went 2-for-4 with an RBI single in the eighth against Ralph Garza Jr. and reached base for 15 straight games.
Arozarena gave the Rays a 2-0 lead with a two-run homer in the first against Orioles rookie Kyle Bradish (1-3). He connected again with a solo shot in the fourth on the left-field wall for his fourth homer of the season.
“If you’re in the AL East, you’re going to get hot against a specific team,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said of Arozarena. “It will probably play against you against other teams. We will take him right away because we needed a good attacking performance and he gave us one.
Tampa Bay extended the lead to 5-0 in the sixth on a sacrifice fly from Ji-Man Choi and a defensive pick from Harold Ramirez.
Bradish allowed five runs and five hits with five strikeouts and two walks in 5 1/3 innings.
Kiermaier’s solo shot in the eighth made the lead 6-0. It was his fifth of the year.
Rutschman joined Matt Wieters and Manny Machado as the only Orioles players to triple for their first major league hit.
Orioles: Recall of RHP Mike Baumann from Triple-A Norfolk, and option of RHP Logan Gillaspie and LHP Nick Vespi at the tides.
Rays: Wander Franco is out with a right quad injury and has been dropped from the roster. He also suffers from other lower body injuries. “Every part of both legs bothers him,” Cash said. … Yandy Díaz was slow to recover after scoring a point in the sixth and had to leave the game with a sprained left shoulder.
Orioles: INF Ryan Mountcastle (left wrist, forearm) was reinstated from the 10-day IL and was the DH.
Rays: RHP Corey Kluber (1-2, 4.29) is 5-1 with a 2.94 ERA in 11 career starts against Baltimore.
Orioles: RHP Spenser Watkins (0-1, 5.10) is making his fifth career outing against Tampa Bay. He pitched five innings and allowed six runs and seven hits in his last start against Tampa Bay on Aug. 29.
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