Francisco Mejia homered and had a career-high five RBIs as the Tampa Bay Rays overcame a season-high four errors to beat the visiting Baltimore Orioles 9-3 on Tuesday night in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Randy Arozarena homered for one of his two hits and Shane McClanahan (4-3) struck out seven while allowing a run and four hits over five innings to help the Rays even this three-game set.
Mejia, Tampa Bay’s backup catcher in the lineup with All-Star Mike Zunino nursing a hip injury, clubbed a two-run homer in the fourth and broke open a 5-3 game with his bases-loaded triple during Tampa’s four-run eighth.
Anthony Santander had two doubles and an RBI for the Orioles, who momentarily made things interesting in the eighth when they took advantage of two Rays errors to score twice and get within 5-3. However, that was it for the Orioles, who struck out 15 times and went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Baltimore ace John Means (4-3) returned from a shoulder strain to make his first start since June 5. He allowed five runs and seven hits, with no walks and two strikeouts, in five innings.
The Rays didn’t waste any time getting to Means. Arozarena led off the first with a double to left field and scored on Vidal Brujan’s bloop single. Brujan scored on Wander Franco’s sacrifice fly.
Baltimore cut that deficit in half in the second, when Santander doubled off the center-field wall and scored on Pedro Severino’s two-out single. Arozarena put the Rays up 3-1 with his 11th homer of the season, off Means in the third.
With a man on in the fourth, Mejia’s fourth home run of 2021 made it a 5-1 contest. Brandon Lowe added two hits and scored twice for the Rays, who are 7-1 vs. Baltimore this season.
Tampa Bay’s Yandy Diaz was scratched from the lineup due to neck spasms.
Tuesday’s game broadcast featured Major League Baseball’s first all-female crew. Orioles radio play-by-play caller Melanie Newman was joined by analyst and MLB.com reporter Sarah Langs. MLB Network’s Alanna Rizzo served as field reporter, while Heidi Watney and Lauren Gardner served as studio co-hosts.
–Field Level Media