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 [email protected]mes.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. Road to Atlanta: Tell us how you really feel, Jimbo

    College

    Topped out

    TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 21:  Rashaan Evans #32 of the Alabama Crimson Tide tackles Jarrett Guarantano #2 of the Tennessee Volunteers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) 775042495
  2. Journal: USF gets support on the road

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — Perhaps it was the chance to witness the first USF-Tulane game ever, or an opportunity to frolic in the French Quarter for a weekend. Or both.

    USF running back D'Ernest Johnson (2) stiff-arms Tulane cornerback Parry Nickerson (17) on a run during the second half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH111
  3. Joey Knight's takeaways from USF-Tulane

    College

    1. Saturday's triumph will do little to fortify USF's strength of schedule, but its strength-of-character quotient might have increased. On the road facing an eclectic offense, the Bulls built a huge lead, then made critical plays in the waning moments after some defensive lapses. In short, they survived. Isn't …

    South Florida defensive end Greg Reaves (41) reacts after a defensive stop against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH107
  4. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  5. Lightning journal: Tighter defense fuels hot start

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — See what happens when you keep the crease clean, limit the traffic in front of G Andrei Vasilevskiy and limit Grade A scoring chances?

    Yanni Gourde, right, gets a late first-period goal that follows a big save by Andrei Vasilevskiy.