To start off, I would like to apologize for the lateness of the recap. I was driving home and listening to the game just as it began when my car stalled and I had to pull over to the side of the road. I ended up calling a tow truck and sitting out in the Florida heat for about two hours before it got there. I just got home an hour ago, and unfortunately that means I won't have any GIFs of the game. Sorry about that. Then again I did manage to catch on tape exactly what happened to me today.
I'm just glad everything turned out fine and no one was hurt. Hey did you know you can make GIFs at Gifsoup.com? I read that somewhere.
Luckily for all of us the Rays did not wreck into the Kevin Gausman Express and explode like I did today. Alex Colome, coming fresh off of a godawful 9 run, 1.1 inning start in Durham, pitched about as good a game as you could hope for from a spot starter in Game 1 of a doubleheader. He allowed 1 run on 2 hits through 5.2 innings, and got the early win.
In the first inning, Alex Colome looked pretty lame out there on the mound. A leadoff single to Nick Markakis, a wild pitch, and a walk with no outs had me thinking that Colome wouldn't be out there furlong. But although he was slow out of the gates, an early run was all that the O's offense could really muster up against Colome.
My mane concern before this game was Colome's fastball control, and he didn't always look too stable on the mound. All of his four walks were on full counts, and he even had to work around Longoria, who was saddled with an error in the fifth. Luckily, walks aren't something you canter-race; Colome benefited from a couple of ground ball double plays, which marks the first time in around four weeks that the Rays have turned multiple double plays in a game.
For the most part, he was able to harness his fastball, and I was told that he was throwing 97 mph well into the sixth inning. It's clear he mustang out with the right people in Durham; I don't remember him throwing that hard for that long. Colome walked Davis to face Nelson Cruz, who had gotten a few good licks against him. Maddon thought that it was time to bale and called to Brad Boxberger. Colome trotted off the mound and was dun for the day.
Boxberger, after being called from the pen, threw 12 straight strikes to start and struck out four of the five batters he faced. Unfortunately the only batters that didn't record an out was Manny Machado, who took Boxy deep for a solo home run. Boxberger has now given up 10 runs on the season, and 8 of them have been on the long ball.
Grant Balfour and Jake McGee worked the eighth and ninth, and both were pretty dominant. Balfour gave up a couple of well hit balls that were played on the hop in the infield, but he certainly looked a lot better than he had been looking. McGee came in and got two strikeouts and was really great and I am such a big fan of McGee but don't call him a closer because he will become very expensive.
The last time the Rays faced Kevin Gausman, he would shut down the Rays in a 2-0 O's win, allowing five hits in six innings. Not so much this time. In the second, Brandon Guyer, down by 1 run, doubled in James Loney in the first of many for the day, and was himself doubled in by Matt Joyce to give the Rays an early 2-1 lead. S-Rod then laid down a beautiful bunt to third but was then thrown out by a sparkling Manny Machado.
The Rays would score again in the fourth from the unlikeliest of sources. A Guyer HBP and a Joyce BB put Jose Molina at the plate with one out, and Molina somehow reached out and hit a sinking line drive to right that managed to score Joyce, to the bewilderment of essentially everyone.
In the sixth inning, the Rays knocked Kevin Gausman out of the game with back to back doubles by (who else?) Guyer and Joyce. S-Rod singled in Joyce to give the Rays a 5-1 lead. Jose Molina then hit into a double play, and the status quo was re-established.
Later in the eighth, Brandon Guyer doubled for the third time in as many official at bats. In his career, Guyer has absolutely raked in the limited amount of time he's been able to play at Camden Yards. His first major league home run (which doubled as his first major league at-bat) also came at Camden Yards. He was one of four players in the 6-9 spots of the order that raked and carried the Rays earlier today.
The Rays play the Orioles again in...about fifteen minutes ago. What're you doing reading this? Go to the GDT!