ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Ryan Yarbrough followed up a rare Tampa Bay complete game with six solid innings and the Rays became the first team to reach 40 wins this season, 4-2 over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.
“Hopefully we’re first to 41, too,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said.
Yarbrough (4-3), the first Rays’ pitcher to go the distance in five years in his previous start, gave up two unearned runs and three hits.
Brandon Lowe homered for the Rays, who are 21-5 since May 13.
Baltimore got a home run from Trey Mancini.
The Orioles have lost 13 in a row on the road. It is tied for the longest skid since the team moved to Baltimore from St. Lois in 1954.
Yarbrough struck out six. His complete game on June 3 at the New York Yankees was Tampa Bay’s first since Matt Andriese on May 14, 2016, against Oakland and stopped a major league record of 731 games without one, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Yarbrough also has won consecutive starts after ending a 24-game winless streak as a starter in the game against the Yankees. Often used following an opener, he is 25-5 as a reliever.
“I just think it’s from getting into a good groove,” Yarbrough said. “I feel like early in the year it was always something in my first inning, whether it was starting or coming after guys. Something would always happen, so kind of being able to get into a rhythm beginning of the game has been huge.”
It was Yarbrough’s first home win as starter since June 11, 2018 over Toronto.
Lowe, who entered with the second-lowest average in the AL at .188, had been hitless in 16 at-bats before putting the Rays ahead 3-2 with a two-run homer in the fourth off Keegan Akin (0-1).
“It felt great,” Lowe said. “Hitting the ball out of the ballpark…