Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Longoria homers twice as Rays rout Orioles

ST. PETERSBURG — On "70s Night" at the Trop, it was one of the players not yet born in the disco decade who stole the show.

Rookie third baseman Evan Longoria, riding a recent hot streak, came through with the best offensive performance of his young career, ripping homers in his first two at-bats. The 22-year-old finished with a career-high six RBIs — one shy of tying a team record — to give Edwin Jackson some rare run support in an 11-4 win over the Orioles on Saturday in front of 30,445, many donning blue disco wigs.

Longoria "is an incredibly talented player; those are just flashes of what he's capable of doing," first baseman Carlos Pena said. "It's going to be fun watching his career. I'm just glad I'm along to enjoy it. … The sky is the limit for him."

Pena was far from a bystander, breaking through a recent slump with three hits and falling a homer short of the cycle. And with the Rays' (29-20) bats having not fully clicked during their resurgence — franchise-high nine games over .500 — Saturday gave them a glimpse of what they're capable of when their hitting catches up with their hurlers. The AL East's second-place team plays its next eight at home, where it has won 14 of its past 15.

"(The hitters) will start feeding off themselves like the pitching staff has, like the defense has," manager Joe Maddon said. "We have good offensive players, we just haven't hit our stride yet, but it's coming."

The Rays, batting .258 going in, gave Jackson more runs Saturday than they had during his past seven winless starts (nine).

Jackson (3-3) sure needed it. The 24-year-old said he never felt comfortable on the mound, and it showed as walked four of the first six batters he faced. But Baltimore couldn't take advantage, and a big reason why was Pena, who had made two great defensive plays Friday and came up with the biggest one Saturday.

With the bases loaded and one out in the first, Pena grabbed a slow chopper by Luke Scott, tagging Kevin Millar before tossing it to Jackson at first for an inning-ending double play.

The offense then gave Jackson a hefty lead in the bottom half, as Pena hit an RBI double and Longoria ripped a 458-foot three-run homer off struggling Orioles starter Steve Trachsel (2-5).

Following four straight two-out hits by the Rays in the second — including Longoria's second homer of the night, a two-run shot — the Rays were up 9-1, and the veteran right-hander's night was over. "Home runs are kind of accidents," Longoria said. "I'm just looking to hit mistakes."

Jackson, who said it was just "one of those nights where nothing feels right," gutted out five innings, giving up three runs and five walks, before handing the ball to the bullpen.

While Pena's chance for the cycle ended when he was pulled in the eighth ("Just wanted to get him off his feet," Maddon said), Longoria's career night could have been bigger. In the eighth, batting with the bases loaded and nobody out, Longoria's liner to first base was right at Millar, who started a 3-6 double play.

"I squared the ball up," Longoria said. "He was just standing right where I hit it."

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@sptimes.com.

Rays 11

Orioles 4

Longoria homers twice as Rays rout Orioles 05/24/08 [Last modified: Monday, May 26, 2008 10:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays let early lead get away again in loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As pleased as the Rays were to win consecutive series against the contending Red Sox, Indians and Yankees and to get briefly back over .500, there was a lot of talk in the clubhouse before Monday's game against the Angels that it was time to do better.

    Tampa Bay Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo (25) high fives designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) as he rounds third on his lead off home run in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Monday, May 22, 2017.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    OF/DH Corey Dickerson missed out on a good birthday gift when AL player of the week honors went instead to Detroit's J.D. Martinez. Dickerson hit .385 with five homers, nine RBIs and nine runs; Martinez went .389-4-9-7 and got the nod.

  3. Rays journal: Alex Cobb learning to work with what he has

    Sports

    ST. PETERSBURG

    If this were 2012 or 2013, even 2014, RHP Alex Cobb would have problems. He would find himself working with only two of his three pitches, with the missing pitch being his trusty changeup.

    Alex Cobb, working mainly with his fastball and curveball, is 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA over his past five starts. The Rays right-hander tries to continue his strong stretch tonight against the Angels.
  4. Rays vs. Angels, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Angels

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  5. Fennelly: This season's Chris Archer is a pleasure to watch

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    At this time last season, through 10 starts, Rays pitcher Chris Archer was 3-5 on his way to 9-19.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, May 21, 2017.