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Wilkerson's homer lifts Orioles over Rays

Reuters | Updated: 14-07-2019 02:03 IST | Created: 14-07-2019 01:59 IST
Wilkerson's homer lifts Orioles over Rays
Wilkerson, a switch-hitter who plays a number of positions, had been just 4-for-47 with no extra-base hits against left-handed pitchers this season before coming up against Colin Poche (2-2) in the seventh. Image Credit: Flickr

Stevie Wilkerson hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning to give the Baltimore Orioles a 2-1 victory over the visiting Tampa Bay Rays in the first game of a day-night doubleheader Saturday. Wilkerson, a switch-hitter who plays a number of positions, had been just 4-for-47 with no extra-base hits against left-handed pitchers this season before coming up against Colin Poche (2-2) in the seventh.

Wilkerson belted a one-out homer to center that also brought in Anthony Santander, who had singled to lead off the inning. The two-run homer gave Baltimore a 2-1 lead. Mychal Givens recorded the final six outs for his seventh save -- his first since June 11. Richard Bleier (1-0) earned the win by pitching a scoreless seventh inning.

The Orioles used Aaron Brooks as an opener in his first appearance with the team since they acquired him on waivers from the Oakland A's earlier this month. Brooks threw 2 2/3 hitless innings, striking out two and walking none. Brooks, who had not pitched since June 30, threw 32 pitches. Baltimore snapped the Rays' three-game winning streak.

Tampa Bay got a strong effort from rookie starter Brendan McKay, called up to be the 26th man for the doubleheader. McKay threw five shutout innings in his third major league start, striking out seven and giving up three hits with a walk. McKay's worst problem came in the fifth when the Orioles had runners on first and third with no outs. McKay then retired the next two hitters via strikeout and got a groundout from Richie Martin to end the inning with a 1-0 lead still intact.

Jimmy Yacabonis replaced Brooks in the third, and Mike Zunino greeted him with a solo homer to center to give the Rays the 1-0 lead that they held until Wilkerson's homer. Yacabonis pitched 3 1/3 innings, giving up three hits. --Field Level Media



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