The following recap comes courtesy of SBN Tampa Bay.
The Rays (40-34) could not find their rhythm Tuesday night, falling to the Brewers (41-34). The Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson (L, 7-6) teetered on destruction much of the night, but managed to hold the Brewers to 2 runs in 6 innings, despite walking 4 and striking out only 3.
Meanwhile, Zach Greinke (W, 7-2) was at the pinnacle of game. He stymied the Rays hitters, making them spin wildly like cartoon characters on his way to 10 strikeouts. The Rays did not help themselves much, though, taking only 1 walk on the night (off reliever Kameron Loe, after the game was pretty much out of reach).
The night started poorly for the Rays as Hellickson walked three of the first four batters he faced, allowing Casey McGehee to sac fly the Brewers to a 1-0 lead. Then, in the second inning, Hellickson disgraced himself, his family, and his team, allowing Yuniesky Betancourt to not only get a hit, but a home run.
The 7th inning really spelled doom for the Rays, though, as the combo of Adam Russell, J.P. Howell, and Cesar Ramos allowed 3 hits, 3 walks, and 3 runs, giving the Brewers the consummate lead of 5-1.
Notes from the game:
- John Jaso had the only not-terrible day at the plate today, going 2 for 4 with a double. Well, B.J. Upton also hit a double, going 1 for 4.
- The Brewers had no qualms about exposing Johnny Damon's noodle arm. At one point, Rickie Weeks actually put on the bratwurst costume, rounding third base comically slow as Damon's throw to the plate dangled in the air like a satellite.
- The chief factor that prevented Greinke from a complete game may have been Matt Joyce's epic 6th inning plate appearance, which was a 10-pitch strikeout. It only took 5 pitches for the inning's other 2 outs, but Joyce's PA pushed Greinke into the mid-90s in pitches, allowing him only one more inning.
In the top of second inning, Casey Kotchman scorched a single into center field. Afterwards, Zach Greinke tipped his cap to Kotchman, so as to say, "That was a professional at bat from a professional hitter. You took that pitch and grimaced right back at me like a pro. I'm just grateful there's only one of you in this lineup tonight."
Then, in the 4th inning, Reid Brignac grabbed a Cory Hart grounder and slung it at Kotch, who snared it. Hart jogged down towards first, but knew he was beat when he saw Kotchman stretching for the ball.
"You caught it," Hart said, nodding. "You always catch it."
In the end though, Kotchman was not able to drag the Rays into a victory tonight, but he delivered a rousing post-game speech, comparing the team to the hard-luck Polish sausage who stunned everyone tonight with a resounding Sausage Race victory.