Elliott Brown/ALOST

akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

BALTIMORE — The two best teams in the American League squared off for the first time on Monday night, and it was only fitting that the best pitcher over the first five weeks of the season, Tampa Bay’s Shane McClanahan, took the mound for the occasion. Six shutout innings later, McClanahan cemented his place as the league’s best pitcher while the Rays’ offense did just enough to continue its blistering start.

Josh Lowe’s second-inning home run was all the offense the Tampa Bay Rays would need, as McClanahan and three other pitchers combined to shut out the Baltimore Orioles 3-0 inside Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Monday evening. In the first of a three-game set between the teams with the two best records in the American League, McClanahan sparkled as he lowered his ERA to 1.76 and became baseball’s first seven-game winner. He held the Orioles to just four hits in the six innings he threw, and although he did issue four walks, McClanahan pitched out of trouble multiple times to stunt any Baltimore rally before it got going in earnest.

“That’s a fun team to play. You always want to be the best, but you’ve got to play the best,” McClanahan said after the game. “So for us to come out here and execute the way we did tonight and get that first win of the series was huge for us.”

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Monday evening’s contest, with all photos taken by DC-area photographer Elliott Brown. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 28 pictures in total.

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Tags : Baltimore OriolesMajor League BaseballShane McClanahanTampa Bay Rays

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