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Orioles power past Tampa Bay to complete sweep before road trip

The Orioles caught the right opponent at just the right time.

They're approaching a grueling nine-game West Coast road trip, so the opportunity to pile up some victories against the slumping Tampa Bay Rays was just too good to pass up.

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The Rays arrived at Camden Yards on Friday night in the throes of a seven-game losing streak and will head home to face the Boston Red Sox with it still alive at 11 after the Orioles completed a four-game sweep with a 12-5 victory on Sunday before a Trumbo T-Shirt Day crowd of 38,611.

It looked like it was going to be over almost before it began when Chris Davis engineered a quick four-run lead with his seventh career grand slam in the first inning and the Orioles built a 6-1 lead by the third. But the Rays kept things interesting with a couple of long balls of their own and battled back against O's starter Tyler Wilson to make it a one-run game in the fifth.

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Orioles first baseman Chris Davis doesn't get many days off the field, but manager Buck Showalter managed to find him one Sunday.

The suspense did not thicken, however, because Mark Trumbo quickly extended the lead back to three runs with his major-league-leading 22nd home run in the bottom of that inning and the Orioles cruised from that point to their fifth straight victory.

"This was a good homestand for us, especially the way it ended up,'' Davis said. "I thought we were playing good, clean baseball. It's what we needed getting ready to go on the west coast trip for the second time this year. So, we'll try to keep the momentum going."

Wilson wasn't at his best. He allowed 12 baserunners in five innings, but that didn't keep him from qualifying for his fourth victory in nine decisions. He allowed homers to Desmond Jennings and Oswaldo Arcia and gave up five earned runs on 10 hits.

Dylan Bundy took over in the sixth and delivered another strong multi-inning performance in relief – giving up just two hits and striking out four over three shutout innings. It was an important outing, since the game was still close enough in the eighth inning for Zach Britton to be warming up when the O's erupted for another four runs to turn it into a blowout. Right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne came on to finish the game instead.

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The Orioles will head west today and open their West Coast swing Tuesday night against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

"It's good to take care of our home turf,'' said Jones, who reached base in all five of his plate appearances. "Now we've got to go out there to San Diego and scratch and claw and get some wins against the Padres."

Jones turned into the consummate leadoff hitter on Sunday, walking to start the first-inning rally and performing a safety squeeze bunt to drive home the Orioles' fifth run of the game in the second. He went on to have four hits, with a double and three singles, which raised his batting average from .254 to .265.

Schoop stays hot: Jonathan Schoop had the Orioles' other home run – a solo shot in the third inning that was his 13th of the season – and also had two singles to raise his average to .292.

Tough start for Smyly: Rays starter Drew Smyly came into the game with a 4-0 lifetime record against the Orioles, but – in a numerical quirk – was down 4-0 to them before he retired a single batter. Adam Jones drew a walk to lead off the first inning and both Joey Rickard and Manny Machado followed with singles to load the bases. Smyly jumped ahead in the count to Davis and the Rays thought they had him on a check-swing third strike, but they didn't get the call and Davis got all of the next pitch for his 7th career grand slam.

Davis by the numbers: The first-inning slam was the fourth of the year by an Orioles hitter. Machado has two and Schoop has the other one. The homer also was Davis' 179th as an Oriole, which tied him with Frank Robinson for ninth place on the Orioles' all-time list.

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