BALTIMORE — Trey Mancini hit an inside-the-park home run in what may have been his final plate appearance at Camden Yards as a member of the Orioles, and Baltimore blanked the Tampa Bay Rays 3-0 on Thursday.
Jordan Lyles pitched impressively into the sixth inning for the Orioles, who took three of four from Tampa Bay and went 4-3 on a big homestand against the Yankees and Rays. They have put together a winning record in consecutive months for the first time since 2016 and trail Tampa Bay by three games for the final wild card in the American League — a much better position than expected as the trade deadline approaches.
Lyles (7-8) and Mancini both could be dealt by a Baltimore team that has still seemed to be in a rebuilding mode for much of this season, but with the Orioles now in contention, it’s not clear what they’ll do. Baltimore went on a 10-game winning streak prior to the All-Star break, then held its own on this homestand against two tough AL East rivals.
Some fans stood and cheered Mancini when he came up with one on and two outs in the eighth and the Orioles up 1-0. He lifted a routine flyball to right, but Josh Lowe appeared to have trouble with the sun and missed the ball. It hit the left side of his face and bounced away, and Mancini circled the bases.
Mancini, the designated hitter for Baltimore, took a curtain call before the bottom of the ninth to acknowledge the crowd.
Anthony Santander doubled home a run in the third to open the scoring. Lyles allowed three hits in 5 2/3 innings, striking out four. He pitched around four walks, and the Baltimore bullpen held onto the lead. Félix Bautista retired all four of his hitters, striking out three, for his third save.
Ryan Yarbrough (0-6) allowed a run and four hits in six innings. He struck out eight with no walks.
Lyles struck out Lowe with men on first and third for the third out of the first. He walked two straight hitters with one out in the fifth, then retired Brandon Lowe and Ji-Man Choi on a popup and a groundout to escape that jam.
Lyles was replaced with two outs in the sixth, and Cionel Pérez struck out pinch-hitter Randy Arozarena with two on. Pérez pitched the seventh, Bryan Baker got the first two outs of the eighth, and Bautista came on with men on second and third to strike out Arozarena for the third out of that frame.
Orioles: Baltimore put RHP Tyler Wells (lower left side discomfort) on the 15-day injured list. The Orioles also optioned LHP Nick Vespi to Triple-A Norfolk and recalled RHPs Logan Gillaspie and Beau Sulser from Norfolk.
Rays: Tampa Bay opens a home series against Cleveland. Jeffrey Springs (3-2) takes the mound Friday night against Shane Bieber (4-6) of the Guardians.
Orioles: Baltimore has not announced a starter for the opener of its series at Cincinnati. Mike Minor (1-7) pitches for the Reds.
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