Wilson Ramos extends hitting streak to 18 as Rays split doubleheader with Orioles

BALTIMORE (AP) — After David Hess enjoyed an unforgettable afternoon, the Tampa Bay Rays closed out a long day with an overdue victory.

Turns out, the Rays and Baltimore Orioles both had reason to smile Saturday night after playing two games and enduring a lengthy rain delay.

In the opener, Hess pitched six effective innings for Baltimore in his major league debut and Jonathan Schoop hit two home runs in a 6-3 victory.

Then, Brad Miller and C.J. Cron homered off former teammate Alex Cobb, and Tampa Bay breezed to a 10-3 win to earn a split and snap a five-game losing streak. 

“Obviously, we needed to win a game,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “The way it’s been going, it was easy to get frustrated. But credit the guys for getting another early lead and having some good at-bats.”

Tampa Bay scored a run in each of the first four innings against Cobb (0-5) and led 4-1 in the sixth when a thunderstorm stopped play for 1 hour, 19 minutes.

Baltimore ultimately cut the gap on an RBI single by Trey Mancini, who also homered in the first inning . But Tampa Bay pulled away, ending the Orioles’ season-high winning streak at four games.

Cobb spent six years with the Rays before signing with Baltimore this past offseason as a free agent. Two of his five defeats have come against Tampa Bay.

Mallex Smith had three hits and three RBIs for the Rays, and Wilson Ramos extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a ninth-inning single.

Cash went deep into his pitching staff, beginning with starter Matt Andriese, who usually works out of the bullpen. Sergio Romo (1-0), the second of seven Tampa Bay pitchers, got the win.

“All in all, it worked out,” Cash said. 

The same can be said for Hess (1-0) in his first big league game. Recalled from Triple-A Norfolk to serve as the 26th man in the single-admission doubleheader, the right-hander gave up three runs and six hits, walking none and striking out three.

Pitching on just three days’ rest, Hess found himself in a three-run hole after facing four batters in the top of the first inning.

The 24-year-old ended his outing with five innings of two-hit ball.

“I can’t really even put it into words. It’s an experience you literally dream about since you were a kid,” gushed Hess, a 2014 fifth-round pick. “It definitely has been everything and more than I hoped it would be.”

He was sent back to the minors late Saturday night, because Baltimore can’t use him as a starter until late next week.

“But he’s eligible to come back any time as soon as he gets his rest,” manager Buck Showalter said.

Mychal Givens worked 1 2/3 innings for his first career save.

Chris Archer (2-3) went seven innings, allowing six runs and seven hits — including a season-high three homers.

“You know, they were ultra-aggressive today. I gave up three first-pitch home runs,” Archer said.

After Matt Duffy homered to stake the Rays to a 3-0 lead , Baltimore tied it with a three-run second.

In the third, Machado hit his 13th home run, tying Boston’s Mookie Betts for the most in the majors. Schoop connected on the next pitch for a 5-3 lead.

The early game was the makeup of a rainout on April 24.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (elbow) will throw a bullpen session on Tuesday, Cash said.

Orioles: DH Pedro Alvarez was held out of both games with a hamstring strain, an injury sustained Thursday night. … OF Colby Rasmus (hip) may soon be ready for a rehab assignment.

SEE YA

Tampa Bay also sent back its 26th player, left-hander Anthony Banda.

TWO-WAY THREAT

Brendan McKay, a two-way prospect with the Rays, has been promoted from low Class A to high Class A. The 22-year-old 1B/LHP will move from Bowling Green to Charlotte on Monday.

Selected fourth overall in the 2017 MLB draft, McKay was batting .254 with 16 RBIs through 21 games, and was 2-0 with a 1.09 ERA.

“It would be fair to say there are a lot of people in the organization who are very excited about him,” Cash said.

UP NEXT

Rays: Blake Snell (4-2, 2.40 ERA) starts the series finale Sunday. He has allowed five hits or fewer in a club-record 12 consecutive starts.

Orioles: Dylan Bundy (1-5, 5.31) seeks to turn around a string of three straight starts in which he’s allowed a collective 22 runs over nine innings.