Wait, there was a game last night?
Thanks to the wonderful FOX blackout rules, the Rays-Orioles game was verboten from Tampa televisions last night and only available to the brave Trop-seekers and Omar Little alike. Thanks to the wonders of MLB.tv, I was able to catch a good portion of the game, but as Wade Davis took the mound to face the top of the Orloles line up, I began to think a blackout sounded pretty good.
Leading off the game, J.J. Hardy sent a high chopper to third that Evan Longoria rushed and made a wild throw to first on. Hardy would be awarded a single and move to second on the errant Longo throw. What base he was on wouldn't matter, however, as two-hole-hitter Nick Markakis blasted a 3-2 offering from Davis to right-center to put the O's up 2-0 without recording an out. To his credit, Davis would retire the next three Orange Birds in order.
The Rays would answer the Oriole affront with a two-run drive of their own as, with two outs, Evan Longoria would double, Matt Joyce would walk, and B.J. Upton would drive a missile off the left-centerfield wall to plate them both. The Rays would score again in the third when Joyce doubled in Longoria from first.
The decisive score of the game came, again, off the bat of B.J. Upton. After a bout of wildness in the fifth inning, where after allowing a single, a fielders' choice and walks to Johnny Damon and Matt Joyce, O's starter Alfredo Simon delivered a first pitch fastball up in the zone, and Upton connected and sent a towering blast off the top of the left-centerfield wall to clear the bases. This hit was more of a high, arching balst than the Beej's first line drive, but both fit the bill of "more-than-warning-track-but-not-quite-home-run" power. That double gave Beej five RBI on the night, all of which came with two outs.
Above, I said I was able to catch a good portion of the game, that's because, after a leadoff walk to Nick Markakis in the top of the sixth inning, my power (and internet) went out thanks to good 'ol Tropical Storm Lee. I was able to check the play-by-play on my phone, but, alas, I was unable to watch Davis work in and out of a sixth inning jam, and the bullpen pitch two-and-one-third scoreless innings of relief. Here's a link to the play-by-play if you'd like to see how each team failed to score in the last three frames. Davis certainly did not have the "stuff" that David Price did last night, but he buckled down after giving up a few runs early and let talent do the rest.
Looking through the gavreyard that is last night's GDT, I came across News Fedora's summary of the game which I thought summed it up nicely:
Today's game comes at you live @ 1:40 PM. It's a battle of the Jeremy's as Hellickson takes on Guthrie to see who will speak loudest in class today. Let's unleash the lion, Hell Boy.