Cashner pitched solid six innings and got rewarded with his first victory in more than two months when the Orioles defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 15-5, in a rain-delayed game before an announced 15,649 at Camden Yards.
The Orioles (30-74) scored only four of those 15 runs while Cashner was on the mound, which might not seem like much, but it was the first time he had left a game with more than three runs on the scoreboard since he defeated the New York Yankees on April 5 at Yankee Stadium. Before Friday night, the only other game he had won this season was on May 21 at the Chicago White Sox.
And before Friday night, the only other time he had won a game at Oriole Park was … never.
“Like I’ve said all season, it’s not in my control,’’ Cashner said. “My control is to go out there and pitch my game and I feel like if I execute, the wins will come.”
It wasn’t until after the Rays (53-51) threatened to come back and cost Cashner that unprecedented decision that the Orioles ambushed the visitors’ bullpen in an eight-run seventh inning that removed all doubt.
It wasn’t until after that that the Rays were reduced to pitching a couple of position players — right fielder Carlos Gómez and catcher Jesús Sucre — to turn the game into a mockery.
Trade deadline darling Adam Jones was the main man in this rare double-digit offensive performance, driving in the first Orioles run of the game with an RBI single in the first inning and launching a three-run homer in the seventh-inning scorefest.
The home run was his 11th of the season and first since June 2. That raised his season RBI total to 42, which leads the team since Manny Machado was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jonathan Schoop also had another big night. His home run in the fifth inning gave him a homer in five straight games, tying the major league record for homers in consecutive games by a second baseman. It was the eighth time the feat was accomplished and the first time since Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier did so in September 2016.
“It’s a good feeling,’’ Schoop said, “especially when you get a ‘W’ like that, too. I got a pitch I wanted and put a good swing on it.”
Schoop, whose name also has started to percolate in trade speculation, remains on an incredible July tear with three run-scoring hits in the game. Along with the home run, he had two RBI singles in the seventh-inning bat-around.
For once, Cashner could sit back and enjoy the fireworks show. He left with a two-run lead and the Rays narrowed the gap with a run in the top of the seventh, but the Orioles sent 13 men to the plate in the bottom of that inning.
“Cashner battled his tail off,’’ Jones said. “He gave up two over six. We’ll take that any day of the week. The offense played a good role today — a lot of extra-base hits. It was good that we just kept passing the baton.
“We all know what’s going on with trade rumors and all that stuff, but we still bring it every day and we understand that we have an opportunity and obligation to ourselves and out teammates to go out and play the game hard every day. It’s great that everyone’s still being a consummate pro.”
It was Cashner’s 10th quality start of the season, but it was only the second one that earned him a win. He improved to just 3-9 on a season in which he has a respectable 4.33 ERA.
“Cash was good,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Actually not carrying really good stuff. He was going to go to 90 pitches tonight and hit the nail right on the head.”
The game would turn into a bit of a circus when Rays manager Kevin Cash sent Gómez and Sucre to the mound to pitch the bottom of the eighth inning. The Orioles added three more runs on four walks and an RBI single by pinch hitter Austin Wynns in the eighth. The Rays capped the scoring with two runs in the ninth off Orioles right-hander Jhan Mariñez.
Read more from columnist Peter Schmuck on his blog, "The Schmuck Stops Here," at baltimoresun.com/schmuckblog.
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