The Rays were halfway to a laugher in this one. Balls were rocketing all over the place against Kevin Gausman, and even though Brandon Guyer was robbed of a homer in the first, and Logan Forsythe was thrown out at the plate in the second, you knew it was just a matter of time. They finally broke through in the third.
In the Big Inning
It started with a bomb by J.P. Arencibia over the left field foul pole.
A lengthy review concluded there was no better look than the one the Chris Gucionne had from third base. I still don't know why they don't have better camera angles at the foul poles.
And the Rays weren't done. A double the other way by Guyer and a homer by Longoria (#200!)
gave the Rays a 3-0 lead. This was followed by some Looney Tunes defense that typifies what's gone wrong for the O's lately, and the next thing you knew, the Rays had the bases were loaded with one out. James Loney followed by dropping a single into shallow right, making it 4-0. The rally was cut short when KK somehow grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, but this felt in the bag.
It was not.
Here's how the bottom of the frame went for the O's: Double, Flyout, RBI Single, RBI Double, K, 2-Run Homer. Tie game, and we start all over.
Honestly, if you were paying attention, you should have seen this coming too. Ramirez wasn't sharp. Brian Anderson mentioned he did some bullpen work to tighten up his slider, because it had gotten too loose, too sweeping. And he tightened it up all right. So much so, it didn't really look like a slider anymore. I'm sure he'll bounce back, but it was not a good outing by Erasmo.
With the O's churning through their pen, Buck went to his fourth arm of the night, Givens, with two outs in the sixth, in an attempt to play matchups. It didn't work out, as Givens was stung by an opposite field ground rule double by Arencibia. Sizemore followed by driving one the other way to left center, just past Adam Jones and into the seats on a hop. 5-4, Rays.
The Middle Innings
Steve Geltz came on after an effective inning from Gomes (that included a pickoff), and promptly hit Chris Davis with a one strike, up-and-in fastball. On purpose? Maybe. Even as a happy accident, call me a fan. Provided you get out of the inning unscathed, of course. Frankly, a couple other guys should have considered plunking him later on.
A four pitch walk to Weiters right after though? That's not the way you do it.
But a K to Schoop? And an unhurried 1-6-3 off the bat of Clevenger? That's what the doctor ordered.
Frosty continued his hot hitting, ripping a two-out double in the top of the seventh. Cabby almost added some insurance with a sinking liner to right, but Parra made a diving catch to rob him and end the threat.
Geltz came back out of the bottom of the 7th and quickly retired the first two hitters before Cash called on Alex Colome to face the top of the order and Manny Machado. The result was more scary than it should have been, as Alex left a couple pitches in the middle of the plate, the second of which was skied to short right where Guyer and Frosty engaged in some light body checking before Frosty came away with the ball.
The Late Innings
Zack Britton is ridiculous. How does anybody every get a hit off this guy, let alone score a run? The lefty who is illegal in 39 states came on for the top of the 8th and promptly K'd Loney & Kiermaier in a couple of at bats that could not have been more unfair. He even fanned the Legend of Arencibia.
Alex Colome was back out in the 8th, still without great location, but got by on stuff, setting the side down in order.
Darrin O'Day has a funky arm angle. But Evan Longoria is a dad. He's on to all your games. 6-4, Rays. That should be enough, right? I mean, you feel a lot better about Boxy with a two run lead than a one run lead, right?
But you woulda felt better with three. Walk to Weiters, homer to Schoop, and it's a tie game again.
The Extra Innings
Frosty walked to lead off the tenth, his fifth time on base for the night. So of course, Cash pinch ran for him with Beckham. All I gotta say is, with our two best hitters out of the game -- J.P. and Frosty -- we better win it this inning.
With Brach keeping a close eye on Beckham, Cabby lifted a 3-2 pitch softly to left for the first out. Then Loney followed with a hard liner to Davis at first, who doubled off Beckham handily. Glad that sub worked out!
On to the bottom of the tenth, where seasons go to die. Kevin Cash called on Matt Andriese to deliver to eulogy. But Evan Longoria wasn't ready to give up the ghost yet, Machadoing Manny Machado, with a big stretch assist from Loney.
So there would be elevensies! But no tea. Because after the Rays managed just a Mikie Mahtook walk in top the 12th, Chris Davis took Matt Andriese deep on a 3-0 pitch -- in one of the least surprising moments of the night -- to win the game for the O's.
Criticizing the Manager
I don't like PR TBex for Frosty like it's gonna be a short extra inning game, but then not going with Cedeno against Davis because it might be a long game. Didn't we just call up some guys? Oh, and when you're behind Davis in the count 3-0, how 'bout you just walk him? Or hit him in the thigh? Geez. Play to win the game, skip.
Overall, not a devastating loss. But pretty damn close.
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