MLB Roundup: Rays earn 14th straight win over Orioles, White Sox beat Tigers
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Francisco Mejia homered and drove in three runs, helping the Tampa Bay Rays beat Baltimore 5-3 Saturday for their 14th straight win over the Orioles.
The two-time defending AL East champions improved to 20-1 against the Orioles since the start of the 2021, and the 14-game winning streak that began last July is the longest against a single opponent in Rays history.
Mejia’s pinch-hit, eighth-inning sacrifice fly drove in the go-ahead run in Tampa Bay’s 2-1 season-opening victory over the Orioles on Friday. He started at catcher Saturday, delivering a RBI single in the second and a two-run homer off Jordan Lyles (0-1) in the third.
Wander Franco, hitless after singling three times in the opener, finished a three-run second inning with a hard-hit sacrifice fly for Tampa Bay, which has outscored Baltimore 157-75 in the past 21 games between the teams.
Reliever Josh Fleming (1-0) inherited a three-run lead and worked 3 1/3 scoreless innings, while allowing three hits and striking out five. Andrew Kittredge yielded a run-scoring double to Jorge Mateo in the ninth before getting the save.
Meanwhile, Lyles allowed five runs and seven hits over five innings. The Rays hit him hard from the start, with nine batted balls registering exit velocities of over 100 miles per hour in the first four innings, including Franco’s line-drive sacrifice fly and another ball the 21-year-old launched to the wall in center field.
Lyles allowed a major league-high 38 home runs last season while going 10-13 with a 5.15 ERA in 32 appearances (30 starts) with the Texas Rangers. That was also a career high, and the most homers allowed in the majors since Mike Leake yielded 41 in 2019.
Rays starter Drew Rassmussen departed with a 5-2 lead, but worked just four innings and not involved in the decision. The right-hander gave up a two-run homer to Ryan Mountcastle in third and allowed three hits, walked one and struck out three while throwing 64 pitches.
Orioles LF Anthony Santander, who homered on opening day, was hit by a pitch in the left knee in the first inning. He stood near the plate, doubled over in pain for a moment, but remained in the game and went 2 for 3 with two singles.
The finale of the season-opening, three-game series, with former AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber making his debut for the Rays after going 5-3 with a 3.83 ERA for the Yankees in 2021. He’s 5-1 with a 3.15 ERA in 10 career starts against Baltimore. Right-hander Tyler Well (2-3, 4.11 last season) starts for the Orioles.
Cease, unbeaten vs Tigers, leads White Sox to win
DETROIT (AP) — Dylan Cease remained unbeaten in 10 career starts against Detroit and Yasmani Grandal hit a two-run homer that led the Chicago White Sox over the Tigers 5-2 Saturday.
Cease (1-0) allowed one run and two hits in five-plus innings with eight strikeouts and three walks. He is 9-0 against the Tigers.
Aaron Bummer gave up singles to Miguel Cabrera and Jonathan Schoop starting the ninth, then struck out Eric Haase, Spencer Torkelson and pinch-hitter Dustin Garneau for his first save.
Chicago’s A.J. Pollock left because of right hamstring tightness after he singled leading off the third and took a wide turn at first. Pollock is off to a 4-for-7 start since he was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 1 for closer Craig Kimbrel.
Eloy Jimenez hit a two-run single with two outs in the first. Jose Abreu had two hits and scored twice for the White Sox, who rebounded from a 5-3 opening-day defeat.
Detroit’s Casey Mize (0-1) allowed four runs and seven hits in five-plus innings.
Grandal homered on a 1-1 fastball in the sixth, driving the ball over the right-field wall for a 4-0 lead.
Cease was replaced by Reynaldo Lopez after allowing Austin Meadows’ leadoff single in the sixth. Jeimer Candelario had an RBI double.
.Javier Baez was thrown out trying to score from third when a pitch glanced off Grandal’s glove, and the catcher threw to Lopez covering the plate. Schoop drove Candelario from third with a grounder that shortstop Leury Garcia bobbled for an error.
Andrew Vaughn added an RBI single in the seventh.
Chicago’s Tim Anderson served the second game of his two-game suspension for making contact with umpire Tim Timmons during the ninth inning of a game on Sept. 27. Anderson is expected back in his leadoff spot Sunday.
White Sox SP Lucas Giolito will be placed on the 10-day injured list due to a lower abdominal strain. Giolito was injured during the fourth inning of the team’s opener on Friday. “Optimistically, maybe a couple of starts,” manager Tony La Russa estimated of the pitcher’s layoff.
White Sox: RHP Michael Kopech (4-3, 3.50 ERA in 2021) will start the finale of the three-game series. Kopech, who started in four of his 44 appearances last season, only pitched four spring training innings.
Tigers: LHP Tarik Skubal (8-12, 4.34 ERA in 2021) will make his season debut. Skubal won two of his three starts against the White Sox last season, striking out 23 in 16 innings.