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Meadows’ Walk-Off Two-Run Single Puts Rays Over Orioles, 5-4

Rays

Rays’ designated hitter Austin Meadows delivered in the clutch with a two-strike, two-out single to drive in two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Meadows capitalized on a ninth-inning rally that began with a Francisco Mejia single and a pinch-hit walk from Mike Zunino. 

Randy Arozarena then placed a bloop single in shallow right field that dropped as Ryan Mountcastle and Pat Valaika collided trying to make a play on the ball.

Following a Vidal Brujan strikeout, Meadows roped a single to center field that brought in Mejia and pinch-runner Kevin Kiermaier for the win.

Meadows finished the day with a 2-for-5 line including another single to center field in the fifth inning.

The 26-year-old was coming off a bit of a cold streak in his last four games where he recorded just one hit across his last 12 at-bats, striking out three times in that same span.

Arozarena stays scorching

(AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Rays’ outfielder Randy Arozarena launched two home runs at Tropicana Field in Wednesday’s walk-off victory. 

Tampa’s lead-off hitter smacked a home run 386 feet in the bottom of the first inning to tie the game at one after an Austin Hays RBI double gave the O’s the lead in the top of the frame.

Arozarena launched another long ball in the fifth inning that traveled over 425 feet to center field to tie the game once again after a Ryan Mountcastle home run in the top of the inning. 

The Cuban import finished with a 3-for-5 line including the aforementioned bloop single to load the bases for Austin Meadows in the ninth.

Arozarena crushed the ball against Baltimore in this regular-season series, hitting .538 across 13 at-bats with three home runs and two doubles.

The third-year power hitter has seen his batting average jump from .248 to .256 in that same span.

Mullins, Mancini, and Mountcastle

(Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

Cedric Mullins, Trey Mancini, and Ryan Mountcastle accounted for six of the Orioles’ nine total hits in Wednesday’s tough loss.

Mullins picked up two hits in four at-bats including a lead-off double in the first inning. 

The 2021 All-Star came into the game struggling over his last three appearances, tallying one base hit in ten at-bats in Tampa Bay and Kansas City. 

With two hits, Mullins saw his average jump a few points up to .314 as he moved ahead of Tim Anderson of the Chicago White Sox for ninth place in batting average in the MLB.

O’s designated hitter Trey Mancini also logged two base hits and scored one run. 

Mancini singled and hit a sixth-inning double that set the plate for Ryan Mountcastle to drive him in to grab the lead, 4-3. 

With Wednesday’s two base hits, the 6’4” slugger extended his current hit streak to five games. 

Across those five games, Mancini has hit at a .381 clip and even notched his first triple of 2021.  

Mancini’s batting average sits at .261, the highest mark since June 24.

First baseman Ryan Mountcastle went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a 401-foot bomb to right-center field in the fourth inning. 

The home run was Mountcastle’s 15th of the year and his first long ball since June 28th, when he launched a two-run home run against the Houston Astros.

The two-hit effort was the 24-year-old’s first multi-hit performance in July as he also notched at least one RBI in his third straight game.

Mountcastle’s performance on Wednesday was a bright spot in an otherwise dreary month of July, where he has hit .178 with an OBP way short of .300.

Whats next

The Baltimore Orioles will move on to play an interleague series, when they take on the Washington Nationals in a three-game homestand starting on July 23.

With a win Wednesday night, the Nats can come into this series winners of four straight after dropping six in a row prior.

The Tampa Bay Rays will take on the Cleveland Indians in a four-game road series that opens up on July 22. 

Cleveland is in a position to get swept by the Astros with a loss Wednesday night as the Rays will come into the matchup looking for their third straight victory. 

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