September 22, 2017 / 2:34 AM / a year ago

Ynoa shines as O's take series opener vs. Rays

EditorsNote: updates sixth graf with Twins’ win

Ynoa shines as O’s take series opener vs. Rays

BALTIMORE — Orioles rookie Gabriel Ynoa put together a sterling performance and made a strong case for joining Baltimore’s starting rotation in 2018.

Ynoa allowed one run over a season-high eight innings, Manny Machado hit his 33rd homer, and the Orioles took the series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays with a 3-1 victory Thursday night.

Ynoa, who was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Sept. 3, gave up five hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Ynoa (2-2) kept the Rays off-balance with his sinker, slider and fastball.

“Every game I take it as it’s the last game of my career,” Ynoa said through an interpreter. “So, I’m just trying to take advantage of these opportunities and show that I can help. You have to be very efficient against this team. They try to swing early, swing hard. So, I just tried to manage my count, try to get ahead of the count. Try to get the hitters as quickly as possible.”

Brad Brach picked up his 18th save despite allowing runners on the corners with a walk and an error by shortstop J.J. Hardy in the ninth.

Baltimore (74-80) won for just the second time in eight games, and, like Tampa Bay (74-79), remains mathematically alive in the wild-card race. The Minnesota Twins (79-74), sitting in the second AL wild-card position, are five games ahead of the Rays and 5 1/2 in front of Baltimore.

The Orioles got a solid performance from two rookies aside from Ynoa.

Trey Mancini had a first-inning single and extended his hitting streak to a season-high 11 games. Austin Hays contributed a pair of singles from the leadoff spot. He has four multi-hit games in his past six starts in right field.

Tampa Bay’s Matt Andriese (5-4) had a shaky start but settled down. He allowed three runs and seven hits with eight strikeouts and one walk over six innings. It was the first time Andriese pitched past into the sixth inning since returning from the disabled list Aug. 28 after recovering from a right hip stress reaction.

“I think today kind of showed what I have,” Andriese said. “It was tough missing so much time. Now, I am just starting to get in the groove and get ready for next season. I am just looking forward to getting back out there every five days and being healthy.”

Tampa Bay has lost four of its past six games.

Machado, who missed the previous game because of an illness, gave the Orioles the lead with a two-run shot in the first inning off Andriese.

“Manny’s still not feeling well, you know,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “I talked to him earlier and said, ‘I’m going to make two lineups out. Let me know.’ He thought he might get to feeling a little better as the day wore on. And I’m not so sure he did a whole lot. So, it’s another example: We’ve got guys who post up. I hope everybody appreciates it.”

Machado’s homer snapped a streak of 26 scoreless innings by Baltimore. Later in the first, Adam Jones hit a double and scored on a single by Mancini.

“I feel good,” Mancini said. “I’m just trying to put consistent at-bats together, be more relaxed and patient up there and try to get a good pitch to hit, so that’s all I’m really focusing on.”

The Rays pulled within 3-1 in the third when Hays mishandled a single by Daniel Robertson, allowing Brad Miller to score.

“The game did not start out very well for us,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “They scored three runs before we even recorded an out. After that, Matt threw the ball very well, but the damage had already been done.”

NOTES: Orioles LHP Zach Britton will get a stem-cell injection on his left knee on Friday and could be shut down for the year. Britton will not need surgery because his strained MCL is expected to heal over the offseason, according to manager Buck Showalter. ... Rays SS Adeiny Hechavarria got the night off. He was not starting for the first time since Aug. 24. CF Kevin Kiermaier also did not start, but he pinch-hit in the ninth. He had started every game since coming off the disabled list on Aug 18 following his recovery from a right hip fracture. ... Baltimore SS Tim Beckham was scratched for the second straight game after having an abscessed wisdom tooth removed. ... The Rays obtained SS Osmy Gregorio as the player to be named from the Aug. 5 trade with the Mariners, who acquired RHP Ryan Garton and C Mike Marjama in the deal.

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