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Kelly Shoppach Grand Slam Helps Rays Cool Off O's

Rays 7, Orioles 3

St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) – Kelly Shoppach’s fourth-inning grand slam helped the Tampa Bay Rays post a 7-3 win over the suddenly surging Baltimore Orioles in the second of three games at Tropicana Field.

Shoppach, who came into the game batting just .195 in 38 games this season, added a solo shot in the eighth inning to tie a career-high with five RBI and give the Rays their third win in 10 games. Willy Aybar had three hits, an RBI and a run scored, and Jason Bartlett went 3-for-5.

Andy Sonnanstine (3-1) notched his first win as a starter since June 25, 2009 against the Phillies, allowing three runs, three hits and four walks in five solid innings. The bullpen finished the game with four scoreless innings.

Adam Jones, despite the loss, continued to terrorize Sonnanstine, blasting a three-run homer for the Orioles, who fell to 9-3 with Buck Showalter as manager. In 12 plate appearances lifetime against him, Jones has homered three times, the most among any particular pitcher.

Brian Matusz (4-12) was hammered for five runs, nine hits and two walks in four innings to take the loss. He had given up two runs in his last 12 innings pitched.

The Rays batted around in the fourth, taking the lead for good on one big swing.

Evan Longoria doubled leading off, and Aybar followed with a single. Sean Rodriguez plated Longoria with a double, and Ben Zobrist drew a walk to load the bases.

Shoppach cleared the bases, driving a 2-2 pitch from Matusz just over the left-field wall for his second career grand slam and a 5-3 Rays lead.

Tampa Bay put two runners in scoring position later in the inning with only one out, but Carl Crawford flied out, which led to a double play when B.J. Upton was thrown out at home by Jones trying to tag up.

The Rays, though, added to their lead on Aybar’s RBI single in the fifth for a three-run cushion.

The Orioles struggled to string together any kind of rally, putting just one runner on base in the final six innings — a ninth-inning double by Matt Wieters. Shoppach’s second blast of the game accounted for the final margin.

Ty Wigginton singled leading off the third, and Luke Scott followed with a five-pitch walk. Jones staked the Orioles to a 3-0 lead with a home run, his 17th of the season.

Game Notes

Rays pitcher Matt Garza has surrendered two home runs to Jones, the only other pitcher to be victimized multiple times by the Orioles outfielder…Tampa Bay leads the season series, 8-3…The Rays are 25-13 against left-handed starters…Five Rays hitters had multi-hit games, including Longoria and Upton…Shoppach recorded his fifth career multi-homer game and how has three home runs on the season.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.