Elliott Brown/ALOST

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

BALTIMORE — While the Baltimore Orioles have enjoyed a power surge throughout their lineup over the first two full moths of the season, a player who has provided much juice from his bat over the past few seasons has been conspicuously absent from the home run party. That was, until Saturday afternoon.

Ryan Mountcastle slugged two home runs, both coming in the first four innings, as the Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays engaged in an early slugfest before Baltimore pulled away with a 9-5 victory inside Camden Yards on Saturday afternoon. Anthony Santander and Jordan Westburg also homered for the Orioles, who hit four dingers in a game for the second time this season.

Baltimore is second in the Majors in home runs with 83, with Gunnar Henderson’s 18 pacing the team, but Mountcastle — who hit 33 homers in 2021 and 22 more in 2022, his last two full seasons — had just six coming into today, and just two in the month of May. But the first baseman got the homer party started on Saturday with a clout to dead center field with Adley Rutschman on base, giving Baltimore a 2-0 lead.

Santander immediately followed with his 10th homer of the season, one that landed well beyond the high right-field wall and onto Eutaw Street.

Tampa Bay responded with three in the top of the second, highlighted by Yandy Díaz’s two-run triple to right that tied the game at 3-3, but the Orioles retook the lead one batter into the bottom of the frame as Westburg hit his ninth home run of the season to center field.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Saturday afternoon’s game, with photos taken by DC-area photographer Elliott Brown. After clicking on a photo to enlarge the picture, press the left and right arrow buttons on either side of the caption to scroll through the rest of the pictures that appear on the first page, Also, click on the numbers and/or arrow appearing immediately below the picture grid to load the next set of photos. There are 22 pictures in total.

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Tags : Baltimore OriolesMajor League BaseballTampa Bay Rays

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