Rodriguez takes perfect game into the 6th, Rutschman has slam and drives in 6, Orioles beat Rays 9-2


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Grayson Rodriguez took a perfect game into the sixth inning, Adley Rutschman hit a grand slam and drove in a career-high six runs, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays 9-2 on Sunday.

Anthony Santander also homered for the Orioles, who lead the majors with 102. Baltimore has taken the first three-games of the four-game set, and have won 13 of 17 overall.

Tampa Bay has dropped 12 of 16 at home.

Rodriguez (7-2) retired 15 in a row before walking Taylor Walls to begin the sixth. Yandy Díaz singled for the Rays’ first hit with two outs before Brandon Lowe ended Rodriguez’s day when he hit an RBI single to complete a 10-pitch at-bat.

“I thought he was attacking the zone really well,” said Orioles catcher Rutschman. “Was using all of his pitches effectively in zone and then really good two-strike pitches as well.”

Dillion Tate replaced Rodriguez and allowed an RBI single to Randy Arozarena that cut the Orioles lead to 3-2. He struck out Jonny DeLuca after walking Josh Lowe to load the bases.

“I wish I could have pitched deeper into that game,” Rodriguez said. “Started off pretty good. Didn’t finish it near the way I wanted to. Just want to keep the bullpen out of it for a little bit longer.”

Baltimore got both runs back in the seventh when Rutschman had an RBI single and Ryan Mountcastle hit a run-scoring grounder.

Rutschman made it 9-2 on his base-loaded homer off Phil Maton in the eighth. Maton, who signed a $6.5 million, one-year contract with the Rays in February, had his ERA climb to 6.56 from 5.24.

Rodriguez allowed two runs, two hits and one walk and struck out six in 5 2/3 innings. The 24-year-old right-hander threw a career-high 107 pitches.

“The confidence is high right now,” Rodriguez said. “Defense has been playing great. Obviously, anytime that you can pitch with a lineup like we have that eases your mind a lot.”

Díaz and Arozarena had two hits each as the Rays finished with six. Díaz had both of the Rays’ hits in a 5-0 loss Saturday in which 26 Tampa Bay batters were retired in a row at one point.

“They’re grinding,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “They’re not having much luck at the plate. We’ve haven’t had a lot of base runners.”

Rutschman drove in a run on a single in the third and Santander homered in the fourth off Zack Littell (2-4) to give Baltimore a 2-0 lead. Colton Cowser made it 3-0 on a run-scoring triple during the sixth.

Littell gave up three runs and seven hits over six innings.

Baltimore’s Cedric Mullins had been hitless in 25 at-bats before getting consecutive hits in the fifth and seventh.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Orioles: OFs Austin Hays (ribs) and Kyle Stowers (right wrist) had soreness and didn’t play. … INF Jorge Mateo (concussion) could be back on Tuesday.

UP NEXT

Orioles RHP Corbin Burnes (6-2, 2.26 ERA) and Rays RHP Ryan Pepiot (4-2, 3.96) are Monday night’s scheduled starters.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB



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