Due to the fact that I'm spending the weekend working at a summer camp and Woodrum is lost in the woods of rural Michigan, I'm swiping today's recap from SB Nation Tampa Bay. The wondrous work below is courtesy of Josh Frank, the same genius that created the new DRaysBay logo. Enjoy!
For the Rays, the thunder began before the rain Friday night. On a night where Derek Lowe and Jaime Garcia each took a no-hitter into the 7th, James Shields' 7+ IP, 1 ER performance may look rather pedestrian. However, Shields has now pitched into at least the 7th in five straight starts and allowed only 4 ER in that span. Shields found some run support early on from recently called up Brandon Guyer who sent a Zach Britton fastball into the left-center field seats for two runs after Evan Longoria and B.J. Upton laced back to back doubles to the right field corner. Guyer, making his debut in front of a dozen or so family and friends from nearby Virginia, would become the first Ray to ever hit a homerun in his first major league plate appearance.
Both Britton and Shields would go on cruise-control through four rain-soaked innings. Not until Baltimore's Derek Lee homered off of Shields in the 6th to almost the exact same seat as Guyer had in the 2nd, did the O's make a sound offensively. Shields would shake that pitch off and continue his streak of dominance as he finished his one-run effort having given up 3 hits, 3 walks, and striking out 5 Oriole hitters.
Britton wouldn't survive past the 6th inning and the Baltimore bullpen would allow the Rays to cushion their lead to 6-1 at its highest. After an Evan Longoria walk and a Kelly Shoppachwalk, recently-hot Casey Kotchman singled off Clay Rapada on a ground ball to right field, allowing Longoria to score. Not to be outdone, Koji Uehara would give up a single to Ben Zobrist and a homerun to Johnny Damon in the top of the 9th. Baltimore would add a gimme-run in the bottom of the 9th when Vlad Guerrero and Luke Scott would hit back-to-back doubles off of Joel Peralta. Fellow new-Brandon, Brandon Gomes would come in to collect the last out of the game, pushing the Rays to an 18-14 record.
The Orioles and Rays will face off tomorrow afternoon at 1:10pm.