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Henderson homers on 1st pitch and Orioles beat Rays 5-2 for 1st 4-game sweep at Tropicana Field

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Gunnar Henderson homered on the first pitch, Ryan O’Hearn drove in three runs and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-2 on Monday night to finish their first four-game sweep at Tropicana Field.

Corbin Burnes (7-2) allowed two unearned runs and five hits in seven innings as Baltimore improved to 22-10 on the road. Craig Kimbrel worked the ninth for his 15th save in 18 chances.

“To come in and really do everything well, pitch great, play good defense, hit the ball well, it’s tough to beat us,” said Burnes, who has given up three runs or fewer in 16 consecutive starts.

Baltimore also swept a four-game set at the Chicago White Sox from May 23-26, making this the first Orioles squad to sweep a pair of four-game series in the same season since 1987.

“Going on the road and sweep a team four (games), no matter what the record, is super hard to do in the major leagues,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said.

James McCann also homered for Baltimore, which leads the majors with 104. It’s the most homers through the first 65 games of a season in Orioles history.

Alex Jackson went deep for the Rays, who have dropped 13 of 17 at home and are 31-35 overall.

“Not good. Not what we wanted,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “We’ve got to get over it real quick.”

Tampa Bay has lost eight straight home games to AL East opponents, equaling a franchise record, and hasn’t been last in the division this late into a year since the end of 2016 season.

O’Hearn put Baltimore up 4-2 on a two-run double in the fifth against Ryan Pepiot (4-3). He made it 5-2 with a seventh-inning RBI single off Kevin Kelly to complete a nine-pitch at-bat. Both hits came with two outs.

“He can really grind out an at-bat,” Hyde said. “He gets big hits for us constantly.”

Henderson’s major league-best seventh leadoff homer this year went 430 feet to center field. Last season’s AL Rookie of the Year has 21 homers, second in the majors to New York Yankees star Aaron Judge (24).

O’Hearn and Henderson both had three hits. Henderson scored three times for the second consecutive game.

Tampa Bay got two unearned runs in the second when second baseman Jordan Westburg dropped José Caballero’s routine popup with two outs, and the light-hitting Jackson hit his first big league homer in almost three years.

It was Jackson’s third hit in 47 at-bats this season, and first longball since going deep against Dan Winkler of the Chicago Cubs in August 2021.

McCann tied it at 2 on his third-inning drive.

Pepiot allowed four runs and nine hits over six innings. He struck out nine.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Orioles RHP Dean Kremer (right triceps strain) threw a bullpen and could be ready to start a short minor league rehab assignment this week.

UP NEXT

Orioles: RHP Albert Suárez (2-0, 1.83 ERA) and Atlanta LHP Max Fried (6-2, 2.93) are Tuesday night’s starters.

Rays: RHP Zach Eflin (3-4, 4.14 ERA) will face Chicago Cubs RHP Jameson Taillon (3-2, 3.47) on Tuesday night.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB

By MARK DIDTLER
Associated Press

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