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Rasmussen throws perfect game in 9th, Rays beat Orioles 4-1

By MARK DIDTLER, Associated Press

St. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Drew Rasmussen pitched a perfect game in the ninth inning, and the Tampa Bay Rays extended their lead over Baltimore for the AL final wild card to 1 1/2 games with a 4-1 victory over the Orioles. Sunday.

Rasmussen allowed his first base runner when Jorge Mateo doubled down the left field line on the first pitch of the ninth. Mateo, who went 5-for-5 Friday night, later scored on a Rasmussen wild pitch.

The right-hander struck out seven in the longest outing of his career. He threw 62 of 87 pitches for strikes.

Jason Adam got two outs for his sixth save, finishing with a hit.

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Rasmussen (7-4) struck out Rougned Odor on a 2-2 pitch to end an eight-pitch at-bat for the second out in the eighth.

Baltimore’s Adley Rutschman flew out to the warning track in center in the first. Former Ray Brett Phillips had a hard drive to Rasmussen with two outs in the sixth, but shortstop Taylor Walls fielded the ball and threw to first for the out.

Rasmussen was coming off three hitless innings in his previous start, Aug. 7 at Detroit, a shortened outing to manage his workload for the season. His longest career start had been seven innings, on June 4 against the Chicago White Sox.

There hasn’t been a perfect game in the majors since Seattle’s Felix Hernandez hit the feat at home against the Rays on August 15, 2012.

Tampa Bay has never played a perfect game. Matt Garza has the Rays only hitless streak, coming on July 26, 2010 at Tropicana Field against Detroit.

Randy Arozarena hit a three-run homer off Jordan Lyles (9-9) with two outs in the third. Arozarena has 15 homers and 38 RBIs in 37 games against Baltimore. It was his second home run in 10 at-bats against Lyles.

Lyles was charged with four runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings. He had won his last three starts.

David Peralta hit an RBI single in the fifth off Joey Krehbiel, who replaced Lyles with two out.

Orioles: Rested 1B Ryan Mountcastle. It’s day to day after he was hit in the left hand by a pitch on Saturday. … RHP Tyler Wells (left lower back strain) has begun a pitching program. … LHP Alexander Wells (left elbow inflammation) had his rehab assignment moved from the FCL Orioles to Double-A Bowie.

Rays: SS Wander Franco (right hamate) said he will join Triple-A Durham to begin a rehab assignment Tuesday. … 2B Brandon Lowe (shoulder) was out of the lineup for the second straight day.

Orioles: RHP Kyle Bradish (1-4) will face Toronto and LHP Yusei Kikuchi (4-6) Monday night.

Rays: LHP Ryan Yarbrough (0-7) will either start or follow an opener against the New York Yankees on Monday night. RHP Gerrit Cole (9-4) will start for the AL East-leading Yankees.

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