Rays lose Ramírez to broken thumb, but beat Orioles 7-5

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Brett Phillips, Randy Arozarena and Francisco Mejia homered as the Tampa Bay Rays, despite losing hot-hitting Harold Ramirez to a broken thumb, beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-5 on Sunday.

Ramirez, who was batting .329 in 77 games as a first baseman/outfielder, was hit in the right thumb by a pitch from Jordan Lyles in the first. Ramirez stayed in the game, scored a run and exited the next inning. He will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

“You feel for Harold,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “He cares a lot. He’s just really frustrated. … Might have been putting together his best season. Hopefully he’s a quick healer.”

The Rays are 51-41 and hold the top spot in the AL wild-card race despite 15 players on the injured list. They enter the All-Star break at least 10 games over .500 for the sixth time – they made the playoffs the first five times.

Rougned Odor and Austin Hays homered for Baltimore, which is 46-46 at the break after going 52-110 last season.

“I think we’re in a good spot,” Lyles said. “We’re a couple games out of one of the last wild-card spots. No one would have signed us up for us. I think in spring training we would have signed up for it ourselves, but I think we’re better than that. I think a lot of guys in the clubhouse after the last few weeks know we’re better than that.

“I don’t think we’re here to go away,” Lyles added. “We’re here to stay.”

Corey Kluber (6-5) gave up four runs and eight hits over six innings to win his third consecutive start. It’s the first time he has won three starts in a row since May 30-June 10, 2018.

Jason Adam worked the ninth to get this fourth save in five chances.

Phillips, who started the day hitting .060 (5 for 84) since May 24, put the Rays up 6-0 with a three-run homer in the third off Lyles (6-8). It ended Phillips’ 101 at-bat home run drought.

“Oh man, it feels great … It felt like my first homer in the big leagues just because it’s been so long,” Phillips said.

Phillips drew a leadoff walk in the second from Lyles and scored to make it 3-0 on Josh Lowe‘s two-out double.

Lyles, coming off four consecutive 100 or more pitch outings, allowed six runs and six hits over 2 2/3 innings. Phillips’ homer ended the righty’s day on his 70th pitch.

Bryan Baker replaced Lyles and struck out all five batters he faced to become the eighth pitcher in Orioles history to go 1 2/3 innings or more out of the bullpen and record all his outs on strikeouts.

Hays made it 7-5 in the eighth when he homered on Pete Fairbanks‘ first pitch of the season. The Rays reliever had been out with a right lat strain.

Arozarena hit a two-run homer in the first. He went 2 for 4 and has a .380 batting average (46 for 121) with 13 homers and 29 RBIs in 30 career games against the Orioles.

Kluber hit Anthony Santander in the lower leg leading off the fourth, which keyed a two-run inning that had RBI singles by Adley Rutschman and Ramon Urias. Kluber limited the damage by getting a pair of outs with the bases loaded and one out.

Odor’s two-run homer in the sixth got Baltimore within 6-4. Mejia homered in the bottom half.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Orioles: RHP Felix Bautista injured his right hand Saturday when a hook on an exercise band came loose and the band struck the hand. He warmed up in the bullpen during the eighth inning.

Rays: 1B Yandy Diaz, hit on the left forearm by a pitch Saturday, didn’t play. . Reliever Jalen Beeks (right lower leg tightness) went on the 15-day injured list.

UP NEXT

Orioles: Open a seven-game homestand after the All-Star break against the New York Yankees on Friday night.

Rays: Begin a post All-Star break seven-game road trip Friday night at Kansas City.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.