Meadows drives in 4, streaking Rays pound Twins 14-3

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Charlie Morton has fit right in with the surging Tampa Bay Rays.

The veteran right-hander remained unbeaten with his new team Thursday night, benefiting from its biggest offensive outburst of the season in a 14-3 victory over the major league-best Minnesota Twins.

Every player in Tampa Bay's lineup had at least one hit. Austin Meadows paced the barrage with four RBIs, including the big blow in a six-run third inning against starter Martin Perez (7-2) - a three-run double down the right field line.

The young outfielder who is batting .361 also singled home a run in the fourth, when the Rays scored five more times to make it 11-0.

''That was big, to set the tone like that and get those three runs on the board early,'' Meadows said. ''I was definitely excited. It was a lot of fun to be a part of.''

In addition to multiple hits in five consecutive games, Meadows has three doubles, three homers and 11 RBIs during a season-best six-game winning streak that has the second-place Rays within a half-game of the New York Yankees in the AL East.

Tampa Bay's winning streak is its longest since the team won eight straight in August last year.

Morton (6-0) limited the Twins, who rank among the big league leaders in numerous offensive categories, to two hits before Luis Arraez doubled and scored on Ehire Adrianza's two-out single in the fifth.

The 35-year-old Morton, who won 15 games for Houston last season after helping the Astros win the 2017 World Series, has allowed two or fewer runs in 10 of his 12 starts for Tampa Bay.

The Twins top the majors in homers, runs and slugging percentage, but had little success against Morton, who struck out six and didn't issue a walk while yielding two runs and four hits in a season-high seven innings.

''I felt pretty good. I thought I had all my pitches working,'' he said. ''The guys swung the bat awesome. They played awesome defense behind me. It was a great game all around.''

Morton improved to 9-0 over his last 19 starts with the Astros and Rays, who signed him to a $30 million, two-year contract as a free agent in December.

It's the longest unbeaten stretch of his career, as well as the second-longest active streak in the majors behind Clayton Kershaw (11-0 in 20 starts) of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

''He was outstanding,'' Rays manager Kevin Cash said, adding that pitching with a big lead is not as easy as Morton made it look.

''Charlie has been around long enough to know that you still have to get outs, and the last thing you want to do is tax the bullpen,'' Cash explained. ''I was really impressed with his performance.''

Brandon Lowe had three RBIs, Ji-Man Choi hit a two-run homer and Christian Arroyo, Willy Adames, Travis d'Arnaud and Avisail Garcia also drove in runs for the Rays.

SHORT OUTING

Perez allowed a season-high six runs and six hits over 2 2/3 innings for the Twins. It was the lefty's shortest start since last Sept. 18, when he was with Texas and lasted just 1 2/3 innings at Seattle. His only shorter appearance this season was April 10, a two-inning outing on the road against the New York Mets. Perez's ERA climbed from 2.95 to 3.71.

''One of the bad outings,'' Perez said. ''It's going to happen. We're not perfect.''

HELLO, ROCCO

Former Rays player and coach Rocco Baldelli returned to Tropicana Field for the first time as manager of the Twins. Baldelli was drafted sixth overall by Tampa Bay in 2000 and played parts of six seasons with the Rays. He was part of Cash's staff with the Rays for four years before being hired by the Twins last October. The Rays paid tribute to Baldelli between the first and second innings with a video played on the scoreboard.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Twins: DH Nelson Cruz (strained left wrist) is taking batting practice and could be nearing a return. ''We should know something soon,'' Baldelli said. ... C Mitch Garver (high left ankle sprain) is on a rehab assignment with Double-A Pensacola and will have his status evaluated after Friday's game. ... CF Byron Buxton, who left Tuesday's game after bruising his right knee running into the wall, was in the starting lineup.

Rays: C Mike Zunino (left quad strain) played seven innings for Class A Charlotte, going 0 for 3 with three strikeouts. His status will be re-evaluated Friday. ... INF Yandy Diaz (bruised left hand) took batting practice, but Cash said the hand remains sore. Zunino and Diaz are already eligible to return from the 10-day injured list.

UP NEXT

Twins right-hander Jose Berrios (7-2, 3.20 ERA) starts the second game of the series Friday night. He's allowed 13 runs (11 earned) and 29 hits over his last three outings. Ryne Stanek will be the opener for the Rays.

---

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123456789RHE
MIN37-18
000011010371
TB35-19
00650030X14161
  • W: C. Morton (6-0)L: M. Perez (7-2)
  • HR: TB - J. Choi (5)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
M. Kepler RF40010011.275.342.534.8760.5
M. Gonzalez 3B40000011.234.311.357.667-0.5
J. Schoop DH40000030.254.308.492.799-1.5
E. Rosario LF30000010.278.308.557.865-0.5
W. Astudillo LF10000000.260.272.385.6570.0
C. Cron 1B40100020.270.335.530.8650.0
L. Arraez 2B41100001.375.467.5831.0503.0
E. Adrianza SS31210000.256.351.415.7654.0
J. Castro C30200001.256.358.573.9312.0
B. Buxton CF31110002.259.317.500.8175.0
M. Perez P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
Z. Littell P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
M. Morin P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    A. Garcia RF43310100.301.363.522.8849.0
    T. Pham DH22200100.305.418.488.9066.0
    a- J. Choi PH-DH21121011.264.341.421.7626.5
    A. Meadows LF52240002.361.436.6881.1239.0
    W. Adames SS50110012.236.307.368.6751.5
    T. d'Arnaud C42110110.141.211.172.3834.5
    C. Arroyo 3B52220010.263.300.368.6687.5
    B. Lowe 1B40230000.283.335.538.8736.0
    G. Heredia CF41100012.259.348.379.7281.5
    D. Robertson 2B41100011.204.312.293.6041.5
    C. Morton P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    A. Kolarek P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    O. Drake P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    • a-struck out for Pham in the 5th
    BATTING
    • 2B - L. Arraez (2)
    • 3B - B. Buxton (3)
    • RBI - M. Kepler (36), E. Adrianza (13), B. Buxton (29)
    • 2-Out RBI - E. Adrianza (2)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - M. Gonzalez, L. Arraez, J. Castro
    BATTING
    • 2B - A. Garcia (9), T. Pham (9), A. Meadows (9), C. Arroyo 2 (2), B. Lowe (12)
    • HR - J. Choi (5)
    • RBI - A. Garcia (25), J. Choi 2 (20), A. Meadows 4 (35), W. Adames (13), T. d'Arnaud (4), C. Arroyo 2 (4), B. Lowe 3 (35)
    • 2-Out RBI - A. Garcia (11), J. Choi 2 (11), T. d'Arnaud, C. Arroyo 2 (3), B. Lowe 3 (14)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - A. Meadows, W. Adames, G. Heredia 2 (2)
    FIELDING
    • Outfield Assist - B. Buxton (4)
    • E - B. Buxton (2)
    FIELDING
    • DP - (Robertson-Lowe)
    • E - W. Adames (5)
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    M. Perez (L, 7-2)2.26662303.711.40-11.5
    Z. Littell4.1108813111.371.74-5.5
    M. Morin1.00000000.870.583.0
    PITCHERSIP
    M. Perez (L, 7-2)2.2
    Z. Littell4.1
    M. Morin1.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    C. Morton (W, 6-0)7.04220602.541.1028.0
    A. Kolarek1.02110104.661.450.5
    O. Drake1.01000102.701.202.5
    PITCHERSIP
    C. Morton (W, 6-0)7.0
    A. Kolarek1.0
    O. Drake1.0
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - M. Perez 63-40, Z. Littell 77-50, M. Morin 8-6
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Perez 5-0, Z. Littell 3-6, M. Morin 2-1
    • Batters Faced - M. Perez 16, Z. Littell 23, M. Morin 3
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - C. Morton 87-62, A. Kolarek 22-13, O. Drake 12-8
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Morton 7-7, A. Kolarek 2-0, O. Drake 2-0
    • Batters Faced - C. Morton 24, A. Kolarek 5, O. Drake 4
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    MIN37-18
    000011010371
    TB35-19
    00650030X14161
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    M. Kepler RF40010011.275.342.534.8760.5
    M. Gonzalez 3B40000011.234.311.357.667-0.5
    J. Schoop DH40000030.254.308.492.799-1.5
    E. Rosario LF30000010.278.308.557.865-0.5
    W. Astudillo LF10000000.260.272.385.6570.0
    C. Cron 1B40100020.270.335.530.8650.0
    L. Arraez 2B41100001.375.467.5831.0503.0
    E. Adrianza SS31210000.256.351.415.7654.0
    J. Castro C30200001.256.358.573.9312.0
    B. Buxton CF31110002.259.317.500.8175.0
    M. Perez P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    Z. Littell P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    M. Morin P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    Total333730086-----
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      A. Garcia RF43310100.301.363.522.8849.0
      T. Pham DH22200100.305.418.488.9066.0
      a- J. Choi PH-DH21121011.264.341.421.7626.5
      A. Meadows LF52240002.361.436.6881.1239.0
      W. Adames SS50110012.236.307.368.6751.5
      T. d'Arnaud C42110110.141.211.172.3834.5
      C. Arroyo 3B52220010.263.300.368.6687.5
      B. Lowe 1B40230000.283.335.538.8736.0
      G. Heredia CF41100012.259.348.379.7281.5
      D. Robertson 2B41100011.204.312.293.6041.5
      C. Morton P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      A. Kolarek P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      O. Drake P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      Total391416141368-----
      • a-struck out for Pham in the 5th
      BATTING
      • 2B - L. Arraez (2)
      • 3B - B. Buxton (3)
      • RBI - M. Kepler (36), E. Adrianza (13), B. Buxton (29)
      • 2-Out RBI - E. Adrianza (2)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - M. Gonzalez, L. Arraez, J. Castro
      BATTING
      • 2B - A. Garcia (9), T. Pham (9), A. Meadows (9), C. Arroyo 2 (2), B. Lowe (12)
      • HR - J. Choi (5)
      • RBI - A. Garcia (25), J. Choi 2 (20), A. Meadows 4 (35), W. Adames (13), T. d'Arnaud (4), C. Arroyo 2 (4), B. Lowe 3 (35)
      • 2-Out RBI - A. Garcia (11), J. Choi 2 (11), T. d'Arnaud, C. Arroyo 2 (3), B. Lowe 3 (14)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - A. Meadows, W. Adames, G. Heredia 2 (2)
      FIELDING
      • Outfield Assist - B. Buxton (4)
      • E - B. Buxton (2)
      FIELDING
      • DP - (Robertson-Lowe)
      • E - W. Adames (5)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      M. Perez (L, 7-2)2.26662303.711.40-11.5
      Z. Littell4.1108813111.371.74-5.5
      M. Morin1.00000000.870.583.0
      Total8.0161414361---
      PITCHERSIP
      M. Perez (L, 7-2)2.2
      Z. Littell4.1
      M. Morin1.0
      Total8.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      C. Morton (W, 6-0)7.04220602.541.1028.0
      A. Kolarek1.02110104.661.450.5
      O. Drake1.01000102.701.202.5
      Total9.0733080---
      PITCHERSIP
      C. Morton (W, 6-0)7.0
      A. Kolarek1.0
      O. Drake1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - M. Perez 63-40, Z. Littell 77-50, M. Morin 8-6
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Perez 5-0, Z. Littell 3-6, M. Morin 2-1
      • Batters Faced - M. Perez 16, Z. Littell 23, M. Morin 3
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - C. Morton 87-62, A. Kolarek 22-13, O. Drake 12-8
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Morton 7-7, A. Kolarek 2-0, O. Drake 2-0
      • Batters Faced - C. Morton 24, A. Kolarek 5, O. Drake 4
      • 8TH INNING
        Buxton reached on fielder's choice to third, Adrianza scored, Castro out at second314
      • 7TH INNING
        Choi homered to right center, Garcia scored214
        Garcia doubled to left center, Heredia scored212
      • 6TH INNING
        Kepler grounded out to first, Buxton scored211
      • 5TH INNING
        Adrianza singled to shallow center, Arraez scored111
      • 4TH INNING
        Lowe doubled to deep right, Arroyo scored011
        Arroyo doubled to left center, Meadows and d'Arnaud scored010
        Adames singled to center, Pham scored, Meadows to third, Adames out at second on center fielder Buxton fielding error08
        Meadows singled to center, Garcia scored, Pham to third07
      • 3RD INNING
        Lowe singled to right, d'Arnaud and Arroyo scored06
        d'Arnaud singled to right, Meadows scored04
        Meadows doubled to deep right, Robertson, Garcia and Pham scored03
      • 9TH INNING
        • Oliver Drake relieved Adam Kolarek
        • J. Schoop: Strike swinging, Foul, Foul tip, Schoop struck out on foul tip
        • W. Astudillo: Astudillo grounded out to shortstop
        • C. Cron: Ball, Ball, Cron reached on an infield single to shortstop, Cron to second on shortstop Adames throwing error
        • L. Arraez: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Arraez grounded out to pitcher
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 1 Error)
      • 8TH INNING
        • Adam Kolarek relieved Charlie Morton
        • E. Adrianza: Adrianza singled to center
        • J. Castro: Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Adrianza to second, Adrianza stole second, Castro reached on an infield single to shortstop, Adrianza to third
        • B. Buxton: Ball, Buxton reached on fielder's choice to third, Adrianza scored, Castro out at second
        • M. Kepler: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Kepler struck out swinging
        • M. Gonzalez: Strike looking, Buxton to second, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Gonzalez grounded out to shortstop
        • Middle of the 8th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Mike Morin relieved Zack Littell
        • W. Adames: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Adames grounded out to third
        • T. d'Arnaud: Strike swinging, Ball, d'Arnaud grounded out to pitcher
        • C. Arroyo: Arroyo lined out to shortstop
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • E. Rosario: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Rosario struck out swinging
        • C. Cron: Cron flied out to deep center
        • L. Arraez: Ball, Strike looking, Arraez flied out to deep left
        • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Willians Astudillo in left field
        • B. Lowe: Lowe grounded out to shortstop
        • G. Heredia: Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Foul, Heredia singled to left
        • D. Robertson: Robertson grounded out to first, Heredia to second
        • A. Garcia: Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Garcia doubled to left center, Heredia scored
        • J. Choi: Choi homered to right center, Garcia scored
        • A. Meadows: Ball, Strike looking, Meadows lined out to third
        • End of the 7th (3 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • B. Buxton: Ball, Foul, Buxton tripled to right
        • M. Kepler: Ball, Foul, Kepler grounded out to first, Buxton scored
        • M. Gonzalez: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Gonzalez grounded out to third
        • J. Schoop: Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Schoop struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 6th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • Z. Littell Pitching:
        • W. Adames: Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Adames grounded out to second
        • T. d'Arnaud: Ball, Strike looking, d'Arnaud popped out to third
        • C. Arroyo: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Arroyo struck out swinging
        • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • E. Rosario: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Rosario flied out to deep center
        • C. Cron: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Cron struck out looking
        • L. Arraez: Ball, Arraez doubled to deep center
        • E. Adrianza: Strike looking, Adrianza singled to shallow center, Arraez scored
        • J. Castro: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Castro flied out to deep center
        • Middle of the 5th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Z. Littell Pitching:
        • D. Robertson: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Robertson struck out looking
        • A. Garcia: Ball, Foul, Ball, Garcia singled to right
        • Ji-Man Choi hit for Tommy Pham
        • J. Choi: Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Choi struck out swinging
        • A. Meadows: Ball, Meadows lined out to left
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • M. Kepler: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Kepler lined out to left
        • M. Gonzalez: Gonzalez grounded out to third
        • J. Schoop: Strike looking, Schoop grounded out to third
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Z. Littell Pitching:
        • D. Robertson: Robertson lined out to center
        • A. Garcia: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Garcia reached on an infield single to shortstop
        • T. Pham: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Pham doubled to deep right center, Garcia to third
        • A. Meadows: Ball, Strike looking, Meadows singled to center, Garcia scored, Pham to third
        • W. Adames: Pickoff attempt to first, Strike looking, Adames singled to center, Pham scored, Meadows to third, Adames out at second on center fielder Buxton fielding error
        • T. d'Arnaud: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, d'Arnaud walked
        • C. Arroyo: Arroyo doubled to left center, Meadows and d'Arnaud scored
        • B. Lowe: Lowe doubled to deep right, Arroyo scored
        • G. Heredia: Heredia lined out to left
        • End of the 4th (5 Runs, 6 Hits, 1 Error)
      • 3RD INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • E. Adrianza: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Adrianza lined out to third
        • J. Castro: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Castro singled to right
        • B. Buxton: Buxton grounded into double play second to first, Castro out at second
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • M. Perez Pitching:
        • G. Heredia: Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike looking, Heredia struck out looking
        • D. Robertson: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Robertson singled to center
        • A. Garcia: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Garcia walked, Robertson to second
        • T. Pham: Ball, Ball, Foul, Pickoff attempt to second, Ball, Ball, Pham walked, Robertson to third, Garcia to second
        • A. Meadows: Meadows doubled to deep right, Robertson, Garcia and Pham scored
        • W. Adames: Ball, Strike looking, Adames grounded out to pitcher, Meadows to third
        • T. d'Arnaud: Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, d'Arnaud singled to right, Meadows scored
        • C. Arroyo: Foul, Arroyo doubled to center, d'Arnaud to third
        • B. Lowe: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Lowe singled to right, d'Arnaud and Arroyo scored
        • Zack Littell relieved Martin Perez
        • G. Heredia: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Foul, Heredia flied out to right
        • End of the 3rd (6 Runs, 5 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • E. Rosario: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Rosario flied out to deep right
        • C. Cron: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Cron struck out looking
        • L. Arraez: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Arraez grounded out to third
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • M. Perez Pitching:
        • T. d'Arnaud: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, d'Arnaud struck out swinging
        • C. Arroyo: Arroyo grounded out to second
        • B. Lowe: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Lowe grounded out to shortstop
        • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • C. Morton Pitching:
        • M. Kepler: Ball, Ball, Kepler grounded out to first
        • M. Gonzalez: Strike (foul tip), Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Gonzalez struck out swinging
        • J. Schoop: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Schoop struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • M. Perez Pitching:
        • A. Garcia: Ball, Strike looking, Garcia grounded out to shortstop
        • T. Pham: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Pham singled to center
        • A. Meadows: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Meadows reached on fielder's choice to second, Pham out at second
        • W. Adames: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Adames struck out swinging
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)