Orioles

Quick Links

Morrison hits 2 HRs as Rays breeze past Orioles 10-3

orioles71.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Morrison hits 2 HRs as Rays breeze past Orioles 10-3

BALTIMORE -- Logan Morrison homered twice, Wilson Ramos hit a three-run drive and the Tampa Bay Rays beat Dylan Bundy and the Baltimore Orioles 10-3 on Saturday.

Steven Souza had a solo shot for the Rays, who have 23 home runs in their last 12 games. Morrison, who connected in the first inning and again in the third, has 24 for the season -- a career high.

Jake Odorizzi (5-3) was the beneficiary of Tampa Bay's 14-hit attack, which included four doubles. The right-hander pitched five innings, allowing at least three earned runs for the sixth start in a row. He also yielded a home run in his 12th successive appearance, a club record.

The Rays will seek to complete a three-game sweep on Sunday. They are already assured their first series win against Baltimore after going 0-5-1 since April 2016.

Jonathan Schoop homered for the Orioles, who fell behind 8-1 in the fifth inning. It was the 11th game this season in which Baltimore allowed at least 10 runs.

Bundy (8-7) was pitching on six days' rest, part of the team's quest to limit his innings. The 24-year-old missed parts of three minor league seasons with arm problems and is already at 103 innings this season after reaching 109 2/3 as a rookie last year.

"I'm kind of curious to see how Dylan is today with the extra rest," manager Buck Showalter said before the game.

The answer: Not good.

After rain delayed the start of the game for 1 hour, 12 minutes, Bundy threw 31 pitches in the first inning and gave up three runs. Mallex Smith hit a leadoff single and scored from first base on a hit-and-run single by Evan Longoria before Morrison homered to dead center.

Bundy struck out the side in the second before Morrison and Souza went very deep in the third. Morrison's shot landed on Eutaw Street beyond the right-field scoreboard, and two pitches later Souza put one over the center-field wall and into the Rays bullpen for a 5-1 lead.

Bundy allowed five runs and seven hits in four innings. He struck out seven.

Ramos homered off Alec Asher in the fifth, and not long after that many in the crowd of 28,346 began heading toward the exits.

QUALITY AT-BAT

Tampa Bay's Shane Peterson fouled off 11 pitches before hitting a double in the fourth inning to end a 15-pitch at-bat. The marathon lifted Bundy's pitch count from 76 to 91.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rays: INF Tim Beckham was out of the lineup after leaving Friday's game with left ankle soreness. ... INF Brad Miller, on the DL since June 7 with a right groin strain, began a rehabilitation assignment Saturday at Class-A Charlotte. He played three innings at second base in the opener of a doubleheader.

Orioles: Closer Zach Britton (forearm strain) emerged from Friday's one-inning outing with Class-A Frederick feeling good. "I felt like I was ready to pitch in the big leagues," Britton said Saturday. The lefty will pitch one inning for Triple-A Norfolk on Monday and come off the 60-day DL on Wednesday in Milwaukee. ... 1B Chris Davis (oblique) intends to start throwing Monday. "If that goes well, we will proceed to more stressful baseball activities," Showalter said.

UP NEXT

Rays: RHP Alex Cobb (6-5, 3.73 ERA), who took a no-hitter into the seventh and pitched eight scoreless innings at Pittsburgh on Tuesday, starts Sunday.

Orioles: RHP Kevin Gausman (4-7, 6.07 ERA) starts for Baltimore. He has given up three runs over his last 11 innings, including 5 1/3 shutout innings Tuesday in Toronto.

Quick Links

Kevin Gausman changes jersey number to honor Roy Halladay

gausmanhalladay.png
USA Today Sports

Kevin Gausman changes jersey number to honor Roy Halladay

BALTIMORE  -- Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman will wear No. 34 next season as a tribute to Roy Halladay, who was killed in a plane crash last month.

Gausman announced the switch Thursday on his Twitter account. The right-hander wore No. 39 last year.

Gausman and Halladay are both from Colorado, and the Orioles pitcher said he followed Halladay's career closely and idolized him.

In a post next a photo of his new jersey, Gausman wrote: "Roy gave me the inspiration that I could fulfill even my biggest of dreams -- being a pitcher just like him."

Gausman concluded: "The loss of Roy is tragic and saddening, but I feel honored to have watched everything he achieved."

Halladay died on Nov. 7 when his small plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. He played 16 big league seasons, winning the Cy Young Award in each league and being named an All-Star eight times.

Quick Links

Astros, Dodgers set Series HR record amid juiced ball buzz

usatsi_10381189.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Astros, Dodgers set Series HR record amid juiced ball buzz

HOUSTON (AP) -- Home runs kept flying over the wall at Minute Maid Park, on line drives up toward the train tracks, on fly balls that just dropped over the fence.

Seven more were hit in Game 5, raising the total to a World Series record 22 -- with two possible more games to play. Twenty-five runs were scored in a game started by the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw and the Astros' Dallas Keuchel, Cy Young Award winners regarded as among baseball's best.

After a season when sluggers outpaced even their steroid-era predecessors for home runs, some are convinced that something is amiss with the baseballs.

"The main complaint is that the balls seem a little bit different in the postseason, and even from the postseason to the World Series balls," Justin Verlander said Sunday, two days before he takes the mound in Game 6 and tries to pitch the Astros to their first title. "They're a little slick. You just deal with it. But I don't think it's the case of one pitcher saying, `Hey, something is different here.' I think as a whole, everybody is saying, `Whoa, something is a little off here.'"

A record eight home runs were hit in Game 2, including five in extra innings, and Game 5's seven long balls would have tied the old mark. The 13-12, 10-inning Astros' win Sunday night was the second-highest scoring game in Series history.

Keuchel was quoted as saying after Game 2: "Obviously, the balls are juiced."

Not so obvious to everyone, even amid the power surge.

"I haven't personally noticed anything. I haven't tried to think about it either," Dodgers reliever Brandon Morrow said after giving up two homers in Game 5. "It's not something you want to put in your own head."

Same for Kershaw, even after giving up his record eighth homer of the postseason Sunday.

"I don't really pay attention to it," Kershaw said. "I just assume that both sides are dealing with it, so I'm not going to worry about it."

This year's long ball assault topped the 21 of the 2002 Series. Anaheim hit seven and Barry Bonds and his San Francisco Giants slugged 14 over seven games. That was the year before survey drug testing.

Speculation that something has changed includes a study claiming to have found differences in the size and seam height of balls since the 2015 All-Star break.

"I know there was talk about different sizes and some of the baseballs were slightly bigger and some were smaller. Some of the seams were higher, some of the seams were lower. But, no, it's been consistent," said Rich Hill, who will start Game 6 for the Dodgers. "I think that just has to do with conditions -- if it's colder it's going to be slicker. If it's a little bit warmer out or humid, I think you're going to find that you're going to have a little bit more of moisture to the baseballs."

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred insists nothing nefarious is going on.

"I'm absolutely confident that the balls that we're using are within our established specifications," he said Friday.

Verlander rejected that assertion.

"I know Mr. Manfred said the balls haven't changed, but I think there's enough information out there to say that's not true," he said.

Verlander also does not think it's an issue of how balls are rubbed up before games.

"I know baseball uses the same mud for every single ball for every single game that's played," he said. "I think there's a broader issue that we're all missing."

On the day he become commissioner in January 2015, Manfred said, "I'm cognizant in the drop in offense over the last five years, and it's become a topic of conversation in the game, and it's something that we're going to have to continue to monitor and study."

Offense started rebounding during the second half of the season, and a record 6,105 home runs were hit this year, 2.4 percent more than the previous mark of 5,963 set in 2000 at the height of the Steroids Era.

"I think it's pretty clear," Verlander said. "I think our commissioner has said publicly that they wanted more offense in the game. I'm pretty sure I'm not fabricating a quote here when I say that. I think it was already All-Star break of `15, or right before, when he said that."

San Francisco's Johnny Cueto and Toronto's Marcus Stroman also think the balls have changed, with Stroman blaming slick balls for a rise in pitcher blisters -- an affliction which has struck Hill a few times in the past couple seasons, too.

Houston's Brent Strom and the Dodgers' Rick Honeycutt, the World Series pitching coaches, both were quoted by Sports Illustrated on Sunday as saying the slickness of the ball made throwing sliders difficult.

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I don't see a ton difference, but I'm not going to get in a verbal war with coaches and players who think otherwise."

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had a similar view but acknowledged the power records got his attention.

"The pitchers talk about it feels different in their hand. The one component is the slickness and guys at different ballparks rub it up differently," he said. "Sort of feels the same to me. But it's hard to argue the numbers. You know there's more velocity. Guys are swinging harder. I know in Los Angeles the air was light. It was hot. The ball was flying, carrying more than typically. But I hesitate to try to give you any insight because I really don't know."

RELATED: Nats set to hire Dave Martinez as new manager