ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- — Ryan Yarbrough followed up a rare Tampa Bay complete game with six solid innings and the Rays became the first team to reach 40 wins this season, 4-2 over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.
“Hopefully we're first to 41, too,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said.
Yarbrough (4-3), the first Rays’ pitcher to go the distance in five years in his previous start, gave up two unearned runs and three hits.
Brandon Lowe homered for the Rays, who are 21-5 since May 13.
Baltimore got a home run from Trey Mancini.
The Orioles have lost 13 in a row on the road. It is tied for the longest skid since the team moved to Baltimore from St. Lois in 1954.
Yarbrough struck out six. His complete game on June 3 at the New York Yankees was Tampa Bay’s first since Matt Andriese on May 14, 2016, against Oakland and stopped a major league record of 731 games without one, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Yarbrough also has won consecutive starts after ending a 24-game winless streak as a starter in the game against the Yankees. Often used following an opener, he is 25-5 as a reliever.
“I just think it's from getting into a good groove,” Yarbrough said. “I feel like early in the year it was always something in my first inning, whether it was starting or coming after guys. Something would always happen, so kind of being able to get into a rhythm beginning of the game has been huge."
It was Yarbrough's first home win as starter since June 11, 2018 over Toronto.
Lowe, who entered with the second-lowest average in the AL at .188, had been hitless in 16 at-bats before putting the Rays ahead 3-2 with a two-run homer in the fourth off Keegan Akin (0-1).
“It felt great,” Lowe said. “Hitting the ball out of the ballpark wasn't the idea. Guy on third base, less than one out and the infield was in, anything I could do to get an RBI. Happy that it went out, for sure though.”
It was Lowe’s fifth hit, including three homers, in 65 at-bats against left-hander’s this year.
“They have a lot of different angles they can throw at you,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said.
Mancini hit a two-run drive off Yarbrough in the third. It was his third homer in 19 at-bats against the lefty in a matchup of players that went to high school in nearby Winter Haven, Florida.
Mancini has four homers and nine RBI in four games against the Rays this season.
Manuel Margot cut the Tampa Bay deficit to 2-1 on a third-inning fielder’s choice and made it 4-2 on an RBI single in the seventh.
Akin allowed three runs, five hits and three walks in four innings during a 95-pitch outing.
Orioles rookie Ryan Mountcastle had his streak of driving in at least one run in eight straight games end.
HARVEY STAYING PUT
Hyde reiterated that struggling Matt Harvey will make his next scheduled start and get the chance to “try and fight through these tough times.” The right-hander has allowed 36 runs and eight homers over 23 2/3 innings in his past seven starts. The pair talked before the game. “He’s been working hard,” Hyde said. “I know he’s very discouraged, disappointed, frustrated.”
The Rays acquired RHP Matt Wisler and cash from San Francisco for minor league LHP Michael Plassmeyer.
Orioles: OF Austin Hays (strained left hamstring) returned from the 10-day IL and went 0 for 4, including three strikeouts.
Rays: 1B Ji-Man Choi (left groin strain) got eight at-bats at extended spring training.
Baltimore RHP Jorge López (2-6) and Rays LHP Rich Hill (5-2) are Saturday’s starters. Hill is 4-1 with an 0.68 ERA in seven starts since May 1.
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