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Rays' Ryan Pepiot allows three homers in another loss to Braves

Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times on

Published in Baseball

ATLANTA — Ryan Pepiot battled the heat and the Atlanta Braves quite impressively into the fifth inning Saturday, while protecting a one-run lead.

But that all changed quickly, and loudly, during a four-batter sequence as the Braves hit three home runs and went on to beat the Rays 9-2.

The loss was the Rays’ second straight to open a nine-game, 10-day road trip, dropping their record to 33-38 and furthering their hold on last place in the American League East.

With a three-run homer by Austin Riley off Garrett Cleavinger in the seventh, Rays pitchers allowed four for the day, pushing their majors-most total to 97.

The Rays, as they did Friday, grabbed a lead in the first inning, but only got one run off former teammate Charlie Morton, who is still pitching effectively at age 40.

Brandon Lowe drew a one-out walk, Isaac Paredes sent him to third with a double, and Josh Lowe scored him with a sac fly.

 

Pepiot and Morton traded zeroes until the bottom of the fifth, when Pepiot allowed the three homers and a walk in a span of 18 pitches.

He walked Sean Murphy to start the inning, then after a wild pitch that moved Murphy to second, got two outs.

Pepiot got ahead of Jarred Kelenic 1-2, took the count to 3-2, then left a changeup over the middle of the plate that Kelenic lined just over the rightfield wall to put the Braves up 2-1.

Things quickly got worse from there.

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