Austin Meadows drills walk-off single to lift Rays over O’s

Austin Meadows delivered a two-run, two-out walk-off single in the ninth inning as the Tampa Bay Rays rallied to beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 on Wednesday at St. Petersburg, Fla.

Down 4-3 heading into the ninth, Francisco Mejia (2-for-4) opened the frame with a single off Tanner Scott (3-4). After Yandy Diaz struck out, pinch-hitter Mike Zunino walked and Randy Arozarena, who homered twice in the contest, blooped a ball that fell into right field following a collision between Baltimore’s Pat Valaika and Ryan Mountcastle.

Scott then struck out Vidal Brujan, but with two strikes, Meadows drilled his second hit of the day to right-center field, giving Tampa Bay a second consecutive win and series victory over Baltimore.

Mountcastle homered and broke a 3-3 tie with his RBI single in the sixth for the Orioles, who are 1-8 against the Rays this season.

The Orioles wasted no time getting to Tampa Bay’s Michael Wacha with back-to-back doubles from Cedric Mullins (2-for-4) and Austin Hays to start the game.

Arozarena, though, opened the bottom of the first with a homer to left field off Baltimore’s Alexander Wells, who made his first career start after scheduled starter Keegan Akin was placed on the COVID-19 injured list earlier Wednesday. The Orioles also put outfielder Anthony Santander on the same injured list.

Joey Wendle gave the Rays a 2-1 lead with an RBI triple in the second, but Baltimore tied it on Valaika’s homer in the third. Mountcastle put the Orioles ahead 3-2 with his home run in the fourth, then Arozarena tied the game with his third homer in two days to center field.

Wells completed 5 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on five hits and striking out seven to go with two walks in a rather serviceable outing.

Wacha, meanwhile, also yielded three runs on six hits over five innings for the Rays. Collin McHugh (3-1) pitched two innings of one-hit ball to earn the win.