The Tampa Bay Rays got the boost they needed to win their series opener Tuesday night against the Baltimore Orioles — by way of California.
Former San Diego Padres teammates Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot hit back-to-back homers and Golden State native Tyler Glasnow fanned a career-high 13 in a dominant start in the Rays’ 4-2 win over the Orioles to kick off the three-game series.
The middle game of the three-game series is set for Wednesday.
Renfroe and Margot were traded from San Diego to the American League East club in two different trades, with Renfroe arriving in early December and Margot following two months later before spring training.
On Tuesday night in the second inning with the Rays down 1-0, Renfroe blasted a two-run bomb for his fifth homer and Margot jumped on the second pitch of his at-bat for his first Rays homer and a 3-1 lead.
“It’s really cool,” Renfroe said of homering consecutively with Margot. “I’ve come up with him through the minors and San Diego, and we’ve been good friends for a long time.”
But Glasnow’s intimidating presence on the mound stole the night as the Rays beat the Orioles for the first time in four tries.
While the 6-foot-8 right-hander fired his fastball home in the high 90s all night, his curveball decimated Baltimore. He threw 48 curveballs and 47 fastballs, plus one change-up, in his 96 pitches. Nine of his strikeouts were with the big hook, and he recorded a career-high 24 swing-and-misses.
He retired the last 11 batters he faced, whiffing nine of the last 10 Baltimore batters.
“The last three innings were the best I’ve felt,” said Glasnow, a native of Santa Clarita, Calif.
It was the performance manager Kevin Cash needed to see.
With starters Charlie Morton and Yonny Chirinos out — Morton had a promising bullpen Tuesday, but Chirinos (Tommy John surgery) is lost for this season and next — Cash needed Glasnow’s seven innings.
Lefty Jalen Beeks appeared to be on his way to his second save but left with one out in the ninth with an arm issue. Edgar Garcia, recently acquired from Philadelphia, recorded the final two outs for his first career save as the Tampa Bay staff posted 15 strikeouts.
Trevor Richards (0-0, 5.94 ERA) will make his second start and sixth appearance Wednesday. He is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in four outings (three starts) in his career against Baltimore.
The Orioles tallied seven hits, but Anthony Santander’s 18-game hitting streak ended thanks to Glasnow and Beeks. Shortstop Pat Valaika, who had two errors in 52 career games before Tuesday, committed a pair throwing in Tuesday’s loss — both leading to unearned runs.
Manager Brandon Hyde said catcher Pedro Severino (right hip flexor tightness) could be in the lineup Wednesday and shortstop Jose Iglesias (sore left quad) is eligible to come off the IL and could be activated soon.
“He felt a lot better yesterday,” Hyde said of Severino, who was injured Sunday. “He feels even better today. Hopefully, he’ll be in there in the next day or two.”
Asher Wojciechowski (1-3, 4.84 ERA) will start for Baltimore, and the right-hander will look to rebound after a pair of rough starts. He allowed six runs and 12 hits in 8 2/3 innings combined in home starts against Washington and Boston, though he earned a win versus the Nationals.
In four career appearances, three of them starts, against the Rays, Wojciechowski is 0-1 with a 5.00 ERA, with Tampa Bay plating 10 earned runs in 18 innings against him.
The Orioles will be vying to get back to winning on the road. Baltimore, before Tuesday, had won its previous six road games.
–Field Level Media