ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Blake Snell tied the major league victory lead with his 18th, Nick Ciuffo and Kevin Kiermaier hit early three-run homers and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 14-2 on Friday night.
Snell (18-5) matched Cleveland’s Corey Kluber for the major league lead, after allowing two runs, five hits and striking out nine over 5 1/3 innings.
Tommy Pham had a fifth-inning solo homer and Ji-Man Choi hit a grand slam in the sixth to help the Rays run their home winning streak to nine. Tampa Bay has won 14 of 17 overall, outscoring opponents 93-49.
The loss marks the third time Baltimore (41-100) has had at least 100 losses (1988 and 1954) since relocating from St. Louis following the 1953 season. The franchise had eight 100 or more loss seasons as the St. Louis Browns.
Snell’s major league-best since 1913 of giving up one or fewer earned runs in 14 consecutive home starts ended when Joey Rickard hit the lefty’s 104th and final pitch for a two-run homer in the sixth.
Rickard, a one-time Tampa Bay minor leaguer, has 17 of 23 RBIs this season in nine games against the Rays.
Ciuffo hit his first major league homer off Dylan Bundy (7-14) in the second before Kiermaier made it 6-0 one inning later on his third homer over his last two games.
Cuiffo, playing in his fourth big league game, got his fourth RBI on a sacrifice fly in a three-run seventh.
Bundy gave up six runs, four hits and five walks in four innings. The righty has allowed a single-season team record and major league-leading 37 homers.
Orioles RHP David Hess, Saturday’s scheduled starter, was hit in the left eye while playing catch with a football before the game. After being examined by a specialist, he appeared in the dugout wearing an LSU football helmet.
Baltimore RF Adam Jones was out of the lineup. “Adam would be the first to tell you, this is the best he’s felt in a long time physically,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “Being careful with him physically, I’m not going to tell you that’s the complete reason. We’ve got some people we want to see play.”
Orioles: RHP Alex Cobb (blister) is expected to miss his start Sunday. … OF/DH Mark Trumbo underwent right knee cartilage repair surgery. “No complications, no surprises,” Showalter said.
Rays: INF Daniel Robertson had the cast for his surgically repaired left thumb removed Wednesday and is increasing his rehab program.
The Orioles will face a Rays bullpen game Saturday night.