Mike Zunino homered for the fifth straight game and Nelson Cruz blasted two to help the Tampa Bay Rays deal the Baltimore Orioles their 13th straight loss Tuesday, trouncing them 10-0 in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Zunino ripped a two-run shot, his career-best 26th home run, off Orioles left-hander John Means in a three-run fourth inning, which started scoreless after Means had recorded seven strikeouts in the first three frames.
Zunino’s previous high mark for homers was 25 in 2017 with the Seattle Mariners, which he did in 124 games. In this All-Star campaign, the catcher clubbed No. 26 in just his 82nd contest.
Cruz produced five RBIs with his two blasts, and Randy Arozarena’s hitting streak moved to nine games in a 4-for-5 outing for the Rays, who have won seven consecutive games against the Orioles and are 13-1 against them this season.
Tampa’s Drew Rasmussen crafted four scoreless frames. He faced just two batters over the minimum — Jorge Mateo’s liner through the box that made the right-handed pitcher duck — and struck out three and walked one.
In his second major league appearance and first since 2019, Chris Ellis (1-0) earned his first victory by closing with four scoreless innings. He struck out seven and walked one while giving up three hits.
Mateo produced two of the four hits for the Orioles, who are 1-14 in August.
Means (5-5) surrendered eight hits, two homers and seven runs — four earned — in four-plus innings, with seven whiffs and no walks.
A fielding error by shortstop Mateo on Wander Franco’s grounder leading off the fourth resulted in three unearned runs on Means’ ledger.
In a heads-up play following the miscue, Franco tagged up and advanced to second. Margot followed with an RBI double off the right-field wall for a 1-0 lead.
Two batters later, Zunino made it 3-0 by crushing Means’ 91 mph four-seam fastball 373 feet to left.
Cruz added a towering moon shot to left in the fifth — with a soaring launch angle of 39 degrees — for his first deep shot in his new home park. That scored three.
Brandon Lowe’s RBI double and another unearned run, on Ramon Urias’ dropped pop fly, rounded out the five-run inning.
Cruz’s second homer was a two-run, 437-foot rocket off the facing of the second deck in left in the sixth. It was his 26th homer.
Related: MLB games today – Offseason Schedule
–Field Level Media