BALTIMORE — Tampa Bay emerged from the All-Star break by scoring seven runs in the first inning, and the Rays got homers from Tommy Pham and Nate Lowe in a 16-4 rout of the error-prone Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.
Seeking to reach the post-season for the first time since 2013, second-place Tampa Bay resumed its pursuit of the Yankees in the AL East by reaching season highs in runs and hits (20).
Lowe led the charge with a career-high four hits and three RBIs, and Kevin Kiermaier had three hits, scored three runs and drove in two.
Given all that offensive support, Yonny Chirinos (8-4) had an easy time earning his first victory in six starts since June 7. The right-hander gave up two runs and four hits over seven innings with eight strikeouts.
The Rays sent 11 batters to the plate in the first inning against Dylan Bundy (4-11). After Pham homered, Tampa Bay added four doubles and three singles in an uprising that Bundy fueled with a wild pitch and a walk.
After closing the first half with successive wins over the Yankees, the Rays picked up where they left off. The Orioles, similarly, mirrored their performance before the All-Star break.
Coming in with the worst record in the majors, Baltimore committed two errors, fired three wild pitches and threw the ball to the wrong base on several occasions.
Renato Núñez hit his 21st home run, but the Orioles fell to 11-32 at home and 27-63 overall. It was the 17th time that Baltimore allowed at least 10 runs.
Utility player Stevie Wilkerson pitched the ninth inning for the Orioles, the fourth time this season that rookie manager Brandon Hyde has used a position player to pitch. Wilkerson retired the side in order.
Rays: Relief pitchers Chaz Roe (right flexor strain) and Jose Alvarado (right oblique strain) were placed on the 10-day injured list. “Chaz was a little bit of a surprise, simply because it came during the All-Star break. Hopefully a couple days off will help clean him up,” manager Kevin Cash said. The Rays filled out the roster by activating reliever Diego Castillo, who had been on the IL with shoulder inflammation, and recalling reliever Hunter Wood from Triple-A Durham. … 2B Brandon Lowe, who was placed on the IL on July 4 with a bruised shin, “is still moving kind of slow,” Cash said of the team leader in HRs.
Orioles: OF DJ Stewart (ankle sprain) played LF in a rehab game with Triple-A Norfolk on Thursday and “felt good after the game,” Hyde said. … After having his previous rehab assignment shut down because of arm soreness, RHP Nate Karns (forearm strain) allowed three runs, two hits and three walks on Friday night in a start for Class A Frederick against Carolina before being lifted.
Rays: Tampa plans to recall LHP Brendan McKay from Durham to start the first game of Saturday’s split doubleheader. McKay (1-0, 2.45 ERA), who was in the Rays’ clubhouse Friday, will serve as the team’s 26th man. Charlie Morton 10-2, 2.32) will start the nightcap.
Orioles: RHP Aaron Brooks, claimed off waivers from Oakland on July 6, will make his Baltimore debut in the first game. All-Star reserve John Means (7-4, 2.50 ERA) will start the second game.