The game started in a rain delay while the field was dry. Not long after the posted start time rain started to fall and made it look like a wise choice to start the game in a weather delay. After about a seventy minute delay the game was underway without another drop interrupting play.
The Tampa Bay Rays bats quickly put the pressure on the Baltimore Orioles. Mallex Smith started the game with a liner to center field that fell for a single. Corey Dickerson took the first pitch he saw to the warning track in center field for out number one. On a 0-1 count Evan Longoria grounded a pitch through the second base hole with Smith on the move. Adam Jones didn’t field the ball cleanly, so Mallex Smith scored from first on the single. Logan Morrison followed a career tying 23rd homer of the season to dead center to put the Rays up 3-0. Steven Souza Jr. followed with a doubled lined down the left field line, but was left on the bases.
Jake Odorizzi got off to a fast start with quick first inning. The second and third innings didn’t go as smoothly for Odorizzi. He found himself behind in the count and facing many three ball counts. He ended up only walking two, but the pitch count was elevated. He allowed a single run in the second.
In the top of the third inning the Rays went back to mashing. Logan Morrison hit a bomb that landed on Eutaw Street for his second homer of the game. It is the 91st time a ball has landed on Eutaw Street and the third in franchise history. Ben Grieve and Aubrey Huff did it in the Devil Rays days. It also is Morrison’s 24th homer of the season setting a career high. Steven Souza Jr. followed with a massive shot over the Rays bullpen in left center field to push the lead to 5-1.
Steven Souza Jr. belts a solo home run to left-center field and goes back-to-back in top of the 3rd inning, giving the Rays a 5-1 lead!!! pic.twitter.com/UbxBCVYD3R— TheRenderMLB (@TheRenderMLB) July 1, 2017
After both sides went down quietly in the fourth inning the Rays once again got to work. After a Longoria single and Morrison walk put two runners on base Wilson Ramos launched a no doubter that almost hit Jumbo Diaz above the Rays bullpen mounds in left center field. Ramos took pride in his work and enjoyed watching the ball leave the park to give the Rays an 8-1 lead.
Ruben Tejada started the bottom of the fifth inning with a single. After two liners were caught in the outfield Jonathan Schoop launched a homer to dead center field off Odorizzi. Odorizzi almost lasted an outing without allowing a homer, but it was his twelfth consecutive start allowing a homer. The only start he didn’t allow a homer was the game in Boston he was pulled after one inning due to injury. The homer cut the Rays lead to 8-3.
In the top of the sixth the Rays went with a different approach to score runs. After Taylor Featherston walked on four pitches Mallex Smith lined a hustle double down the right field line. Featherston score after the throw bounced off Smith and into short left field. Corey Dickerson followed with a double that the right fielder couldn’t quite reach on the warning track to score Smith from second to put the Rays up 10-3. The eighth time the Rays have scored ten plus runs in a game this year.
Erasmo Ramirez came in to relieve Odorizzi to start the sixth. Ramirez worked a quick two innings facing the minimum. In the eighth inning Ramirez allowed back to back one out singles to Joanthan Schoop and Adam Jones. Ramirez got out of trouble with a soft groundball to short for out number two ahead of an inning ending strike out of Trey Mancini.
In the ninth inning the Rays were able to send out Adam Kolarek in his second major league appearance. Kolarek was born in Baltimore and was drafted out of the University of Maryland. Kolarek started the inning by walking Welington Castillo on four pitches. Craig Gentry hit a soft grounder fielded by Adeiny Hechavarria that Taylor Featherston dropped on the pitch to put two on with no outs. Ruben Tejada hit a soft fly ball that was caught by Souza in short right. Joey Rickard closed out the game with a grounder to Featherston that was converted into a double play.
The power that was absent during the series against the Pittsburgh Pirates has come back quickly with six homers hit in the first two games of the series.
After Baltimore pitching looked like it might have turned the corner. After allowing five runs in twenty straight games the Orioles allowed a total of six runs in a three game series against the Toronto Blue Jays. So far in the series the Rays have scored 16 in two games. The Rays go for the sweep tomorrow at 1:35 PM.