BALTIMORE (AP) — Pedro Severino hit his first career grand slam, Hanser Alberto and Jonathan Villar homered on successive pitches and the Baltimore Orioles interrupted Tampa Bay’s successful run on the road by beating the Rays 7-1 Saturday night.
John Means (9-9) allowed one run and five hits over seven innings to end a streak of four straight losing starts. Baltimore’s lone representative at the All-Star Game struck out seven and walked none.
Michael Brosseau homered for the Rays, who won 11 of their previous 12 away games and came in with the best road record in the majors. Tampa Bay took the first two games of the series against the last-place Orioles to move atop the AL wild-card race.
After hitting into a double play with the bases loaded in the first inning, Severino got a second chance with the bases filled in the third and sent an 0-1 pitch from Austin Pruitt into the left-field seats.
In the fourth, Alberto hit a solo shot off Pruitt and Villar connected on the following pitch for a 7-0 lead.
José Alvarado made his first major league start for Tampa Bay after pitching in relief 139 times over three seasons. It’s been a rough season for the left-hander, and his problems continued in this unfamiliar role.
Alvarado (1-6) lasted for only 24 pitches, 15 of them out of the strike zone. He walked three, threw two wild pitches and was pulled after getting only one out.
With help from Pruitt, who got Severino to hit into a double play, Alvarado was charged with only one run. Still, his ERA climbed to 4.80, compared to 2.39 over 70 games last season.
Baltimore’s Renato Núñez notched his first career steal in the third inning, taking second base standing up while the Rays focused on Alberto moving toward home from the third base.
Núñez showed his sense of humor by calling for time, bending down and reaching for the bottom of the bag, pretending to pull it out for a souvenir.
EADES GETS A LOOK
The Orioles recalled rookie reliever Ryan Eades from Triple-A Norfolk, 10 days after claiming the former second-round pick on waivers from Minnesota.
“He’s fortunate we’re in the situation we’re in,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “He’s got an opportunity to pitch in the big leagues.”
Baltimore optioned LHP Ty Blach to Norfolk on Friday night.
Tampa Bay activated OF Avisail Garcia (oblique strain) from the 10-day injured list, recalled Pruitt from Triple-A Durham and optioned OF Guillermo Heredia and RHP Aaron Slegers to Durham. This is Pruitt’s ninth stint with Tampa Bay this season.
Trey Mancini, who leads the Orioles with 29 homers and 74 RBIs, got the night off following a tough stretch at the plate.
Mancini was 6 for 36 (.167) with no home runs and just four RBIs over his 10 previous games. He was batting .282 on Aug. 1 and now stands at .270.
Rays: Garcia (.278, 17 HRs, 57 RBIs) was inserted immediately into the cleanup spot. “We missed his presence in the lineup,” manager Kevin Cash said. “He’s having a good year. Let’s see if we can get him to pick up right where he left off.” … 2B Joey Wendle (wrist) had Saturday off from his rehab stint with Durham. There is no timetable for his return.
Rays: Cash likely will use an opener again in Sunday’s series finale. He did not provide the identity of that pitcher.
Orioles: Dylan Bundy (5-13, 5.03) is 0-2 in 3 five starts since July 23 but has lowered his ERA during that span.
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