Hanser Alberto, Renato Nunez and Jose Iglesias all had run-scoring hits in a three-run seventh inning to help the host Baltimore Orioles complete a sweep of their three-game weekend series with a 5-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.
Baltimore had not swept any series since 2018. With 10 strikeouts on the day, this was the fifth straight game that Orioles pitchers struck out at least 10 -- a team record.
The Rays lost their fifth straight game after a 4-1 start to the season.
The game was tied at one in the bottom of the seventh when Cedric Mullins reached on a bunt to start the rally. He then stole second, and Alberto broke the tie with a double to right off Jalen Beeks (0-1).
Later in the inning, Nunez singled softly to center to move the score to 3-1, and Iglesias doubled to left for a 4-1 Baltimore lead. Then, in the eighth, Pat Valaika led off with a homer that gave the Orioles a 5-1 lead.
Evan Phillips (1-1) earned his first career victory with a solid inning of relief. Cole Sulser got his third save this season.
Tommy Milone gave the Orioles five scoreless innings. He led 1-0 heading into the sixth but gave up a leadoff homer to Brandon Lowe, and that ended the pitcher's day.
Overall, Milone allowed one run on six hits, struck out eight and didn't walk a batter, but he came away with a no-decision. The Rays threatened in the second against Milone, loading the bases with one out, but the veteran left-hander retired the next two batters he faced.
Yonny Chirinos started well for Tampa Bay, giving up one run on five hits in 4 2/3 innings, but he also didn't factor into the decision.
Baltimore finally broke through in the third when Nunez crushed a homer for the second day in a row against the Rays. That gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead.
They tried to make it 2-0 in the fifth, but Anthony Santander was thrown out at home trying to score on an Iglesias single. The play stood up under review.
The slim lead did not last long for Baltimore. Milone started the sixth and gave up the leadoff homer to Lowe, but he'd be the only run to cross the playte for Tampa Bay.
The Orioles' injury issues keep mounting. Baltimore pulled Rio Ruiz before the game (no reason available, according to MLB.com) while Chris Davis (knee) didn't play.
--Field Level Media