Rays win the series with offensive bursts
After the O’s got the 7-0 win over Tampa Bay to start off the series on Friday, it all went down hill from there. The worst part is is that on Saturday, both teams played well. On Sunday, both teams played pretty badly, each giving up a lot of runs.
Saturday: Rays 7 Orioles: 5 after 11 innings
This was a great and exciting game. It was Guthrie, who has been consistent but not getting run support all season, vs. David Price, who is one of the best pitchers in the league. The Rays scored early in the 1st with Evan Longoria hitting an RBI double to score Johnny Damon off of his lead-off single. Then the pitching took over for a while until the top of the 5th when Johnny Damon hit a lead-off double followed by a Ben Zobrist RBI double. Evan Longoria then singled scoring Zobrist making the score 3-0. In the bottom of the inning, Hot-as-fire Mark Reynolds got it started with a solo jack. Brandon Snyder singled and scored after Adam Jones (who’s also super hot) hit a ground rule double, making it 3-2.
In the 6th, Mark Reynolds hit his SECOND homer of the game, a 2-shot scoring Matt Wieters who had led off with a single allowing the O’s to take the 4-3 lead. However, Jim Johnson came to the mound on the 7th and allowed the Rays to tie it up after allowing a double and an infield single. In the 8th, Rays relief pitcher Joel Peralta gave up 2 singles and a walk to load the bases with 2 outs and Brandon Snyder at the plate. All Peralta was throwing this inning was curve balls and he just couldn’t land one in the strike zone. However, he worked the count full on Snyder who had a terrific at-bat because he finally got the RBI walk to let the O’s take the 5-4 lead. Though the bases were still loaded, J.J. Hardy got the 3rd out to end the inning with the O’s up by one. However, Kevin Gregg was coming in to try for his 13th save and he’s been lights out. His last blown save was May 16. However, Ben Zobrist got his 3rd extra-base hit of the game, a triple, with 1 out. He then walked Matt Joyce but got Longoria to pop-up in the infield, saving a sac fly. However, Kotchman hit an RBI single to tie the game to force extra innings.
Koji pitched the 10th and walked a guy but then got a 1-2-3. Jeremy Accardo relieved him in the 11th and allowed Ben Zobrist to get another extra-base hit, a double, followed by a ground out that put Zobrist at 3rd. Evan Longoria than hit another RBI single and Kotchman doubled to score Longoria putting the Rays up 7-5. In the bottom of the inning, J.J. Hardy singled with 2 outs and reached 2nd on infielder’s indifference but the O’s couldn’t get anything going and they lost.
This was a tough loss. Any team playing the Rays has to be ready to fight because they’re a good team and have been very strong offensively. However, I don’t want the positives to get lost even though the Orioles lost. Nick Markakis went 2 for 6, Matt Wieters went 3 for 4, and Mark Reynolds went 2 for 5 with the 2 homers and 3 RBIs. The offense seems to be back, which is definitely a good thing.
Sunday: Rays 9 Orioles 6
This was pretty much an offensive shoot-out as none of the pitchers were great. I though we’d win this one with Matusz on the mound but he had a terrible start of only 1 1/3 innings of 5-hit, 4-run, 4-walk baseball. Alfredo Simon came in and pitched 4 2/3 innings, a good outing for the pen, but still gave up 3 runs. The Rays’ starter, Wade Davis, did pitch 6 innings but didn’t do much better giving up 8 hits and 5 runs.
The Rays scored 3 runs in the first, including a lead-off homer by Damon. But, in the bottom of the 1st, the O’s came right back with back-to-back homers by Adam Jones (his 9th) and Vlad Guerrero (his 6th, 1st since May 16). In the 2nd, the Rays added on another run making it 4-2. In the 3rd, they made it 5-2. But, Adam Jones hit a double in the 3rd and ended up scoring on it because Rays 2nd basemen Rodriguez thought he might try to stretch it to 3rd and threw the ball to 3rd to get him out but he threw terribly and the ball ended up bouncing into the stands, making it a 2-base error, allowing Adam Jones to score. It was very interesting because I’ve never seen anything like that before and when the ball went out into the stands, Adam Jones went back to 2nd until the ump told him to go home, so he’d never seen anything like that before either.
Nothing happened until the 7th when the Rays went up to 7-3 on a 2-RBI single by Soppach. But, in the 7th, the O’s fought back. After 3 consecutive singles with no outs, Nick Markakis grounded out to score Ryan Adams from 3rd making it 7-4. Then, Adam Jones grounded out scoring Craig Tatum from 3rd making it 7-5. The 8th was rough. Ben Zobrist singled off of Mike Gonzalez. After getting an out, he was replaced with Accardo. Longoria was at the plate and hit a ball out to Adam Jones who was soooo close to making the catch. He should have had it. But, he just missed it and it turned into an inside-the-park home run putting the Rays up 9-5. Although it sucked that this happened against the O’s, it was still cool to see because there hasn’t been an inside-the-park homer for a very long time and you rarely see them. I’m sure it will be on the Top 10 or on Sports Nation or both since it’s so rare. In the bottom of the 8th, Luke Scott hit a solo homer, his 8th, bringing the score to 9-6, but that’s all the offense the team had in them unfortunately and they lost the rubber match.
This brings them to 8 games back in the AL East (something I’m not too worried about anymore because we know they won’t finish in first, second, or third place. The Jays are 7.5 games back, though, so the Orioles could end up in 4th place. What I’m more focused on is the record which sits at 30-33, still not far from .500. The O’s take on the Blue Jays starting tomorrow. They have lost 4 in a row, including a sweep by the Red Sox (1 game they lost 16-4, another they lost 14-1) so hopefully the O’s can continue that losing streak and stay away from 21-home-run-hitter Jose Bautista.