Shane McClanahan won his fifth consecutive start, Mike Zunino hit a three-run homer and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-3
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BALTIMORE — Shane McClanahan won his fifth consecutive start, Mike Zunino hit a three-run homer and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-3 on Friday night.
Tampa Bay improved to 16-1 against Baltimore, setting the team record for wins in a season against a single opponent. The Rays have won six straight overall and have an AL-best 80-48 record.
“It’s Major League Baseball, these teams are good,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “Sometimes it happens that way where it becomes a little lopsided during a season. But what it says the most is these guys get up to play regardless of who they’re playing and they’re going out to try and win the game.”
McClanahan (9-4) grew up in the Baltimore area and improved to 4-0 against his hometown team this season. He allowed two runs and eight hits with four strikeouts over six innings.
“I think that was my fourth time facing them this month alone,” McClanahan said. “That’s just funny how baseball is; sometimes that’s just how you’re going to match it up. They have obviously seen me a lot, but I tried to continue what I was doing and give them a different look. They had some hard-hit balls.”
Zunino provided a 6-2 advantage in the seventh when he hammered reliever Tanner Scott’s 0-1 pitch 453 feet over the center-field fence. It was Zunino’s 27th homer of the season.
Chris Mazza pitched the last three innings for his first save. He allowed a home run to Cedric Mullins in the ninth. Tampa Bay tied the major league record it already co-owns with 12 pitchers earning a save in one season.
Austin Hays hit his 14th homer for the Orioles, who had won two consecutive games after losing 19 straight — two shy of the AL record set by Baltimore at the beginning of the 1988 season.
The Rays opened a 3-0 lead with two outs in the first off Matt Harvey (6-14) on RBI singles by Yandy Díaz and Manuel Margot.
From there, Harvey retired 16 in a row and was helped by right fielder Anthony Santander, who made a diving catch to rob Joey Wendle of a hit. He said he was fatigued after six innings on the hot, humid night.
“Obviously, as a starter, you want to go as long as you can,” Harvey said. “When we got some runners on there, (manager Brandon Hyde) kind of asked me again, and after sitting down I felt like I was a little gassed at that point. And if we scored a run I didn’t want to go back out and give up a run or put runners on and get in a tough situation and not have anyone warmed up. At that point, I felt tired.”
Harvey has allowed 17 earned runs in 25 innings over his last five appearances after throwing 18 1/3 scoreless innings over three starts coming out of the All-Star break.
Hays cut the margin to 3-2 in the fourth with a two-run homer to center.
Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier robbed rookie Ryan Mountcastle of a two-run homer in the fifth with a leaping grab just over the fence.
“We had 10 hits and thought we hit some balls hard,” Hyde said. “Kiermaier with a great catch that would have given us the lead at the time.”
Orioles: INF Maikel Franco cleared waivers and was granted his release. Baltimore designated him for assignment on Monday after he batted .210 with 22 doubles, 11 home runs and 47 RBIs in 104 games.
Rays: RHP Pete Fairbanks (shoulder inflammation) was reinstated from the injured list. He has been out since July 28 and it’s the second time he has been out with a shoulder issue this season. Fairbanks has converted five of six save chances. “We’re just going to work him back in,” Cash said. In a corresponding move, RHP Louis Head was optioned to Triple-A Durham.
Orioles: INF/OF Jorge Mateo (lower back) is feeling better and could be available in a day or two. The Orioles were playing without a backup infielder. … Hunter Harvey (lat strain) has made three injury rehab appearances for Triple-A Norfolk, allowing two runs and five hits in three innings.
Rays: Michael Wacha (2-4, 5.88 ERA) is looking for his first win since July 7. He has won each of the three games he’s pitched against Baltimore this season.
Orioles: LHP John Means (5-6, 3.50 ERA) has been one of the team’s most reliable pitchers and has thrown seven innings or more five times in 19 starts. Means is 0-2 against the Rays this year.
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