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Drew Rasmussen perfect for eight frames as Rays beat Orioles

Sportsnaut
Aug 14, 2022; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Drew Rasmussen (57) throws a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles during the second inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay’s Drew Rasmussen pitched a perfect game for eight innings and Randy Arozarena hit a three-run home run as the Rays defeated the Baltimore Orioles 4-1 on Sunday afternoon in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Rasmussen (7-4), who struck out seven and didn’t allow a walk on 87 pitches, was flawless until Jorge Mateo doubled in the ninth inning. Mateo then scored on a wild pitch by Rasmussen.

Prior to Mateo’s hit, Rasmussen did not allow a runner to come close to reaching base. Only two Baltimore hitters were able to work three-ball counts, with both coming in the second inning. Rasmussen went 8 1/3 innings and was charged the one earned run.

Arozarena provided all the offense the Rays really needed when he hit a ball an estimated 402 feet in the third inning. Arozarena’s 15th home run of the season came after Jose Siri singled and Taylor Walls, who led the Rays with two hits, doubled.

Arozarena has dominated Baltimore pitching throughout his career, and Sunday marked the 15th time he has homered off a Baltimore pitcher.

Walls increased Tampa Bay’s lead to 4-0 when he scored on a single by David Peralta in the fifth inning.

Baltimore’s Jordan Lyles (9-9) came into the game on a hot streak, winning his last three starts. But Lyles wasn’t nearly as successful this time around and was pulled before he could face Arozarena for the third time. Lyles allowed four runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings, with nine strikeouts.

The Rays won two of three games in the series and improved to 10-9 against Baltimore this season. The teams won’t face each other again this year. If they end up tied for the final wild-card spot in the American League, there will be no game No. 163. Instead, the tiebreaker would be head-to-head regular-season record, favoring Tampa Bay.

Rasmussen’s gem and Arozarena’s home run weren’t the only good news for Tampa Bay on Sunday. Shortstop Wander Franco, who has been out with a broken bone in his hand on July 9, took batting practice and did a full workout before the game. Franco is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham on Tuesday. Two other of Tampa Bay’s top hitters — Harold Ramirez and Manuel Margot — could come off the injured list this week.

–Field Level Media