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Rays’ get past Baltimore behind two-run homer by Kevin Kiermaier

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Kevin Kiermaier wasn’t pleased with the night he was having it, and changed it.

Jake Odorizzi wasn’t pleased with the night he was having, and he survived it.

And the Tampa Bay Rays’ offense probably wasn’t real thrilled with their evening either, but overcame it.

Despite all the miscues, the Rays moved to .500 (10-10) with a 3-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. It wasn’t the smoothest effort by the Rays, but it was effective.

Start with Odorizzi, who battled for most of the night. However, he got out of a bases loaded jam in the fourth on a pop-up and a double-play, and survived the fifth when he picked Adam Jones off of first. For the night, the Rays had three double plays, and Kiermaier made a nice play in center on a ball hit to the deep part of the field by Jones.

“I’d be the first to say it wasn’t my best stuff,” Odorizzi said. “Our defense was phenomenal. Sometimes, you just have to get by with what you have. That’s baseball.”

Despite the catch, Kiermaier wasn’t pleased with his first two at bats. But after going 0-2 in the sixth, he launched his third homer of the year to right field for the winning runs.

After that, the Rays’ bullpen took over the game again. Tampa Bay has now allowed only one run in two games to Baltimore.

“Tonight was about the defense,” said manager Kevin Cash.

The Rays conclude their series tonight when Matt Moore pitches against Chris Tillman.

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Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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