Meadows 2-out, 2-run single in 9th, Rays beat Orioles 5-4

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Baltimore Orioles catcher Austin Wynns, right, and reliever Tanner Scott (66) talk on the mound after loading the bases in the ninth inning of a baseb… Baltimore Orioles catcher Austin Wynns, right, and reliever Tanner Scott (66) talk on the mound after loading the bases in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Tampa Bay Rays' Austin Meadows, center, celebrates with teammates after driving in the winning run against the Baltimore Orioles during a baseball gam… Tampa Bay Rays' Austin Meadows, center, celebrates with teammates after driving in the winning run against the Baltimore Orioles during a baseball game Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Tampa Bay Rays' Kevin Kiermaier (39), Diego Castillo and Brett Phillps, right, congratulate Austin Meadows (17) after his two-run single beat the Balt… Tampa Bay Rays' Kevin Kiermaier (39), Diego Castillo and Brett Phillps, right, congratulate Austin Meadows (17) after his two-run single beat the Baltimore Orioles, 5-4, during a baseball game Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Baltimore Orioles' Pat Valaika (11), Austin Hays (21) and Ryan Mouncastle (6) react after a bloop single hit by Tampa Bay Rays' Randy Arozarena droppe… Baltimore Orioles' Pat Valaika (11), Austin Hays (21) and Ryan Mouncastle (6) react after a bloop single hit by Tampa Bay Rays' Randy Arozarena dropped into right field to load the bases during the ninth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Tampa Bay Rays' Francisco Mejia, left, Wander Franco (5) and Kevin Kiermaier celebrate after a walk-off, two-run single by Austin Meadows beat the Bal… Tampa Bay Rays' Francisco Mejia, left, Wander Franco (5) and Kevin Kiermaier celebrate after a walk-off, two-run single by Austin Meadows beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 in a baseball game Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Baltimore Orioles catcher Austin Wynns, right, tags out Tampa Bay Rays' Joey Wendle at the plate during the second inning of a baseball game Wednesday… Baltimore Orioles catcher Austin Wynns, right, tags out Tampa Bay Rays' Joey Wendle at the plate during the second inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Umpire D.J. Reyburn, left, watches as Tampa Bay Rays' Vidal Brujan (7) forces out Baltimore Orioles' Austin Hays at second base during the first innin… Umpire D.J. Reyburn, left, watches as Tampa Bay Rays' Vidal Brujan (7) forces out Baltimore Orioles' Austin Hays at second base during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Baltimore Orioles' Ryan Mountcastle (6) celebrates his solo home run with Ramon Urias as he heads to the dugout during the fourth inning of a baseball… Baltimore Orioles' Ryan Mountcastle (6) celebrates his solo home run with Ramon Urias as he heads to the dugout during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Tampa Bay Rays' Randy Arozarena celebrates with Austin Meadows (17) after hitting a solo home run off Baltimore Orioles starter Alexander Wells during… Tampa Bay Rays' Randy Arozarena celebrates with Austin Meadows (17) after hitting a solo home run off Baltimore Orioles starter Alexander Wells during the fifth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Baltimore Orioles starter Alexander Wells pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in S… Baltimore Orioles starter Alexander Wells pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Tampa Bay Rays' Randy Arozarena (56) celebrates with Brett Phillips after hitting a solo home run off Baltimore Orioles starter Alexander Wells during… Tampa Bay Rays' Randy Arozarena (56) celebrates with Brett Phillips after hitting a solo home run off Baltimore Orioles starter Alexander Wells during the fifth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Austin Meadows hit a two-out, two-run single in the ninth inning and the Tampa Bay Rays rallied past the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 on Wednesday.

Randy Arozarena hit two home runs and also had a key single as the Rays won for the 10th time in 13 games. He stopped a 21-game home run drought in Tuesday night’s 9-3 win over Baltimore.

“We’re a very tough team,” Arozarena said through an interpreter. “A very united team. We all have the same mentality in the sense that we all working hard to get that World Series."

Tampa Bay trailed when Francisco Mejía led off the ninth with a single against Tanner Scott (3-4) and pinch-hitter Mike Zunino drew a one-out walk.

Arozarena then hit a flare to right field, with first baseman Ryan Mountcastle and second baseman Pat Valaika colliding in pursuit, for a single that loaded the bases.

“I called it pretty late there,” Mountcastle said. “Honestly, I didn’t know Pat was over there. Here (at Tropicana Field) you can’t really put your head down and run, you’ve got to stare at the ball the whole time so you don’t lose it."

“I think we were both just doing that and it was sort of tough for both of us and unfortunately collided a little bit and let it fall. It’s a tough play, I think,” he said.

After Vidal Bruján struck out, Meadows lined an 0-2 pitch to center.

“One strike away,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. “That one hurts.”

Collin McHugh (3-1) worked two scoreless innings.

Alexander Wells allowed three runs and five hits over 5 2/3 innings while filling in for scheduled Baltimore starter Keegan Akin, who was placed on the COVID-19 injured list.

Wells, making his first career start and third appearance overall, struck out seven and walked two during a 93-pitch outing. The left-hander became the 13th Australian-born player and third with the Orioles to make a big league start.

“I found out about 11:30 last night,” Wells said. “I called my parents straight away, called my girlfriend, my brother and then tried to get some sleep. Managed to get a little. I’m glad it was a day game because didn’t have much time to think about anything. Just get out there and get going.”

Wells said family and friends back home watched the game that started at 2 a.m. local time in Australia.

In addition to Akin, outfielder Anthony Santander also was put on the COVID-19 IL.

Mountcastle hit a solo homer in the fourth. He put Baltimore ahead 4-3 with a sixth-inning RBI single off Matt Wisler.

Valaika had a solo home run, his second of the year and first since May 5, to tie it at 2 in the third.

Baltimore’s Austin Hays had a first-inning RBI double before Arozarena connected for a leadoff homer in the bottom of the inning.

Arozarena’s second solo homer in the fifth pulled the Rays even at 3.

Rays starter Michael Wacha gave up three runs and six hits in five innings.

Bruján, a promising rookie, was optioned to Triple-A Durham after the game. He hit .077 (2 for 26) in 10 games.

FROM DOWN UNDER

The other Australian-born pitchers to start with Baltimore were RHP John Stephens and LHP Damian Moss.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Orioles: C Austin Wynns had his mask knocked off on the follow through of Arozarena’s swing in the seventh. He stayed in the game.

Rays: Zunino (left hip flexor tightness) was out of the starting lineup for the second straight game… OF Manuel Margot (left hamstring strain) will start a rehab assignment in the next couple days with Triple-A Durham. … RHP J.P. Feyereisen (right shoulder discomfort) went on the 10-day IL and RHP Chris Mazza was recalled from Triple-A Durham.

UP NEXT

Orioles: RHP Jorge López (2-12) will start Friday night’s game against Washington.

Rays: RHP Luis Patiño (1-2) was put on the taxi squad from Triple-A Durham and will face Cleveland on Thursday night.

“We want him to start,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said of the 21-year old Patiño. “He’s done good things in Triple-A. A young pitcher that we’ve got to find a way to give him a little bit of a lane, create a path for him to take off here for us and hopefully tomorrow is the start of that.”

RHP Cal Quantrill (2-2) is starting for the Indians.


More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Single-game Tickets On Sale

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Single-game tickets for the 2021 Boise State football season are on sale now, and can be purchased by clicking HERE Ticket prices start as low as $25 for general admission in the north end zone, and a discounted rate for both juniors and seniors is available.A complete pricing map is available HERE All ticketing options, including season tickets, mini plans, the wildly-popular Blue Collar Pass and single-game tickets can be purchased at BroncoSports.com/tickets, or by calling the Athletic Ticket Office at (208) 426-4737.In addition to single-game tickets, away game tickets for UCF, Utah State, BYU and Colorado State are also on sale. Tickets for Fresno State and San Diego State will become available at a later date. For information on away game tickets, please contact the Athletic Ticket Office at (208) 426-4737.Questions on accessible seating can also be directed to the Athletic Ticket Office.Ticket office hours are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.Boise State enters 2021 with a streak of 23-consecutive winning seasons (1998-2020), tied with Michigan for the 14th-longest such streak in Football Bowl Subdivision history. The streak is the longest by a school in the Group of Five all-time.The Broncos have made four-consecutive appearances in the MW Championship Game, tied with Ohio State for the third-longest active streak in the country. Only Clemson (six) and Oklahoma (five) have a longer current streak of conference championship game appearances.Additionally, Boise State’s four conference championships since joining the MW for the 2011 season are tied for the most in league history, despite being a member for just 10 of the conference’s 22 seasons.

COVID: study finds lower antibody activity against delta variant at single dose – but vaccines still work

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Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, recently announced that the delta variant is no longer of concern because it now comprises 98% of new cases in the country and is therefore “the normal variant”.

This virus has spread to at least 90 countries and is 50% more transmissible than the alpha variant (the variant first identified in Kent), which is around 50% more transmissible than the original coronavirus that caused the pandemic.

With cases rising exponentially and restrictions lifted, it is important to understand how well the vaccines are faring against the delta variant.

A new study from the Pasteur Institute in France found that the delta variant is less sensitive to neutralising antibodies (the Y-shaped proteins that latch onto the coronavirus and stop it from entering our cells). The researchers compared three “variants of concern” – alpha, beta and delta – for their sensitivity to different sets of antibodies:

antibodies used as drugs to treat people with COVID (monoclonals)

antibodies from infected people six months after they recovered

antibodies from vaccinated people who were previously infected

antibodies from vaccinated people who had not been infected.

Monoclonal antibodies are engineered by pharmaceutical companies to target a single part of the spike protein. The researchers used four of these monoclonals to test the different viruses. The alpha variant continued to be neutralised by all four monoclonals. And the delta variant was neutralised by three out of four. But the beta variant, which is known to be the most difficult to neutralise, had lost sensitivity to two out of four monoclonals.

Thankfully, our immune system makes a remarkable array of antibodies against different parts of the virus proteins. This is known as a “polyclonal response”. Do these polyclonal antibodies contain neutralising antibodies that prevent delta variant infection?

To find out, the researchers drew blood from a small group (56 people) six months after they recovered from COVID. They found a four to sixfold reduction in the neutralisation of the beta and delta variants compared with the alpha variant. This does not mean that people are more susceptible to infection with the new variants; immune protection is not merely defined by antibodies. However, it does mean that the beta and delta variants are sufficiently different from previous viruses to affect the immune response.

Encouragingly, when previously infected people were vaccinated (Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Moderna vaccines), they all showed an increase in neutralising antibodies against all three variants. A single dose of vaccine was enough to boost neutralising responses to the delta variant.

These findings chime with recent work from the University of Oxford and Public Health England (PHE), and with studies that have yet to be published.

The results were not so encouraging for those who received one dose of vaccine in the absence of a previous infection. The Oxford group reported that a single dose of vaccination conferred poor neutralising antibodies against the delta variant. This was also the case in the French study for both Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines at ten weeks after vaccination.

Both peer-reviewed studies showed that booster vaccinations had the desired effect of increasing neutralisation against the delta variant, albeit at lower efficacy compared with the alpha variant.

What it means for immune protection

These studies show that our vaccines are still effective against these variants. Further data from PHE and from a Canadian study that awaits peer review show substantial vaccine-induced antibody activity against the delta variant.

In real-life terms, there is a significant reduction in hospitalisations and deaths due to COVID in the UK this summer, compared with similar rising cases last autumn.

The advanced UK vaccination rollout is sparing us the severe effect of the fast-spreading delta variant, so far. But will we be spared thousands of new long-COVID sufferers in the aftermath of the rising infections? Scientists don’t yet know the effect of vaccines on preventing long COVID, but it is known that mild infection can lead to long COVID.

Vaccine coverage in the UK and worldwide is not enough to achieve herd immunity, which is important to protect those who can’t be vaccinated. Under the circumstances, we need to curb transmission to prevent further variant mutations from incapacitating the vaccines.

Continuing surveillance of our antibodies’ effectiveness against new variants is critical to determine when we need further booster vaccinations and when we need to update our vaccines. As schools are closing and many of us are getting ready for our summer holidays, it is important to continue to take sensible precautions and ensure that our vaccines remain effective for longer.