Rays win opener over Orioles 2-1

Wander Franco, Randy Arozarena and the younger, thrilling Tampa Bay Rays are off and working once more.

Franco had three hits, reigning AL Rookie of the Year Arozarena singled twice, and Francisco Mejía snapped an eighth-inning tie with a pinch-hit sacrifice fly that gave the defending AL East champions a 2-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles of their season opener Friday.

“Pretty exciting,” supervisor Kevin Cash stated after utilizing seven pitchers and 12 of 13 place gamers on the opening day roster to get win No. 1.

“I mean, there’s a lot of different characters and they can all get there differently, but there is a lot of athleticism out there,” Cash added. “Whether it’s throwing across the infield, running down the line or hitting the ball 450 feet, it’s fun to watch them.”

Franco began the profitable rally together with his third hit, a single to proper off reliever Dillon Tate (0-1). It was the 21-year-old budding star’s first sport since signing a $182 million, 11-year contract within the offseason. He batted .288 with seven homers and 39 RBIs in 70 video games as a rookie.

“I was able to make the adjustment, and at the time that was something we needed,” Franco stated by way of an interpreter. “Luckily, we got the victory out of it.”

Pinch-hitter Ji-Man Choi drew a stroll and Arozarena beat out an infield single to load the bases towards right-hander Jorge Lopez. After Brandon Lowe hit right into a power play on the plate that took Franco off the bases, Mejía lifted his sacrifice fly to left area.

“They got a swinging bunt single, safe at first base, cost us the game,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said of the speedy Arozarena’s second hit. “Bad luck on our part.”

Andrew Kittredge (1-0), the fifth of seven Tampa Bay pitchers, labored one inning. Lowe drove within the Rays’ different run with a third-inning sacrifice fly, and offseason addition Brooks Raley obtained the ultimate out within the ninth for the save.

Taking up the place they left off final season, once they gained a franchise-record 100 video games and their second straight AL East crown, the Rays unveiled one other championship banner and prolonged their dominance over the Orioles.

Baltimore misplaced 110 video games in 2021, together with 18 of 19 towards Tampa Bay, which completed 48 video games forward of the last-place Orioles.

The Rays’s season ended on a bitter observe with a loss to Boston within the AL Division Series, however Franco’s long-term deal and the addition of former Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber has Tampa Bay eyeing an October return.

Lowe delivered his sacrifice fly after Yandy Díaz, Franco and Arozarena singled to load the bases towards starter John Means within the third. Baltimore tied it on Anthony Santander’s one-out, solo homer off Matt Wisler within the sixth.

Means made his second straight opening day begin, throwing 84 pitches whereas permitting one run, six hits, a stroll and placing out 5 over 4 innings.

“He gave up one run in four innings,” Hyde said. “We gave up two sac flies and lost the game.”

Lefty Shane McClanahan departed his first profession opening day begin with a 1-0 lead after escaping a bases-loaded jam within the first inning and limiting Baltimore to 4 hits, strolling two and fanning seven in a 68-pitch, 4 1/3 inning stint earlier than 25,025, which the Rays declared a sellout, though tickets weren’t bought for the higher deck.

Excluding 2020, when followers weren’t allowed inside Tropicana Field because of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s the sixteenth consecutive season the Rays say they’ve bought out their residence opener.


The Rays launched their twenty fifth season, bettering to 13-12 in openers. Franco, who turned 21 final month, grew to become the youngest participant within the majors to have three hits or extra on opening day since Starlin Castro (21 years, 8 days) did it for the Chicago Cubs towards Pittsburgh on April 1, 2011.


The Rays open the season with right-hander Shane Baz, who was projected to be a part of the beginning rotation, on the 10-day injured checklist after present process arthroscopic surgical procedure on his pitching elbow throughout spring coaching. The staff additionally positioned right-handed reliever Pete Fairbanks (proper lat pressure) on the 60-day IL whereas finalizing the opening day roster.


Middle sport of the three-game weekend collection, with right-hander Drew Rasmussen beginning for the Rays and the Orioles countering with right-hander Jordan Lyles, who was 10-13 with a 5.15 ERA with the Texas Rangers final season. Rasmussen was 4-0 with a 2.44 ERA in 20 appearances, together with 10 begins, after Tampa Bay obtained him from Milwaukee in a commerce that despatched Willy Adames to the Brewers final May.


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