Hey, remember when we got through that brutal part of the schedule earlier this year in surprisingly good shape, and everybody was excited about making hay against teams like the Orioles? Yeah, that’s not really working out right now.
The Rays dropped another one to Baltimore, 11-5, their third loss in a row to the Orioles. It was a sloppy, ugly game, and if you had plans this afternoon and didn’t get to see it, well, good for you. Still, the Rays were about six total inches from winning this. Baseball is weird.
Joey Wendle broke up the perfect game in gritty gamer fashion leading off the first. After hitting a long-but-well-foul homer on the first pitch of the game, he absorbed a fastball from Dylan Bundy on the very next pitch and trotted to first. Bundy still managed to keep it at the minimum though, as Wendle was nabbed on a questionable caught stealing the Rays chose not to challenge.
Yonny Chirinos faced a bit more than the minimum in the first for the Rays. Old friend Tim Beckham got it started for the O’s with a lead off double. After a groundout moved TBex over to third, Chirinos somehow walked Adam Jones, bringing Orioles first baseman Mark Trumbo to the plate. Trumbo hit a chopper to Duffy at third, who started it around the horn. It was going to tough to turn it two on a ball hit this slowly, and Adam Jones removed all doubt by taking out Daniel Robertson on a non-dirty but ugly play at second.
Robertson initially stayed in the game, but was removed in the bottom of the fourth with a left ankle contusion. X-rays were negative, and he is day-to-day.
Chris Davis followed, lifting a high fly to deep center. Mallex Smith got under it at the wall and leaped in an attempted to rob the Baltimore first baseman. And he did have it for an instant. But as his glove hit the wall, the ball popped out and over the fence. 3-0 Orioles.
C.J. Cron broke up the no-no and ended the shutout, knocking a middle-middle Bundy fastball out to center for a solo shot.
In the second inning, Brian Anderson said: “If baseball had timeouts, this is where Kevin Cash would call a timeout.” He said this because the inning started with first baseman Austin Wynns reaching on Willy Adames eighth error of the season, and was followed by Joey Wendle’s first outfield error of the season on Tim Beckham’s single to left, putting runners at the corners. Chirinos managed to get the strikeout of first baseman Jonathan Schoop, and then got the (maybe) double play grounder from first baseman Adam Jones. Honestly, it would have been a great play by Robertson to grab it and turn two, because it was rocket. But if you’ve been following along, you can probably guess that it wasn’t a great play by Robertson. The shot skipped off DRob’s glove and into center. 4-1 Baltimore.
In the top of the fourth, C.J. Cron took one off the hand for his eleventy-bill — oh, wait, no, it’s called a swing. A truly bad call, too. Come on, Blue, That ain’t right, man. How’s the man supposed to hit with a hurt ha —
Sometimes revenge is best served on the next pitch. 4-2 O’s.
Chirinos was done after three. He gave up six hits, four runs (three earned), struck out three and walked two. He had no idea where the four seamer was going.
Hunter Wood took over to start the fourth. He pitched better than his line: one and two-thirds, four hits, two runs, a walk, four strikeouts. Half that damage came on the first pitch he threw, as he was greeted by Austin Wynn’s fly to deep left, which a grown-ass first baseman in the stands reached waaaaaaaaaaaay the heck over the wall to catch with his glove. It was ruled a homer, and it was reviewed, and the call stood, and who the hell cares anymore. 5-2.
In the fifth, with runners on first and second and one out, Jace Peterson singled to center. Mallex Smith made an ill advised throw home to try and get Chris Davis, who scored easily. Perez made a nice play to try and grab the trailing runner, Joey Rickard (, at third. The throw beat him handily, and he was ruled out on the field. But after review, the umpires made their first correct call of the weekend, and of course it went against the Rays. (Also, it was a really nifty slide by Joey “Stu Sternberg” Rickard, whose ownership of the Rays is now beyond questioning.) 6-2, Baltimore.
With the infield in, Willy Adames made a diving stop and trapped the Rays new owner in a pickle between third and home, preventing any further damage. Tim Beckham grounded out to end the inning.
Jake Bauers hit a ding-dong in the sixth.
Andrew Kittredge came on for Wood to finish the fifth. Kitte looked sharp in his two-plus innings of work, right up until he didn’t. With two outs in the seventh, he walked Wynns on four pitches, then gave up an infield single on a check swing to Tim Beckham, who was safe on a bang-bang play at first. That brought up Jonathan Schoop, who lifted a hanging 1-0 slider over the wall in left-center, just out of the reach of Mallex Smith. 9-3 Orioles.
Mychal Givens came on to pitch for Baltimore in the eighth. Good riddance to Dylan Bundy, who was great when he wasn’t giving up solo dingers: seven innings, four hits, seven strikeouts, zero walks.
Adames led off with a walk after a long at bat. Back-to-back singles from Wendle and Duffy made it a 9-4 game, and a sac fly by Bauers made it 9-5. But a hard grounder by Cron turned into a double play on a nice play from Schoop.
Diego Castillo came on to work the bottom of the eighth. He gave up a single to Trumbo, then a homer to Chris Davis. On the bright side, Mallex Smith was nowhere close to catching this one. 11-5.
Michael Perez and Mallex Smith singled off new Orioles pitcher Paul Fry in the ninth. Gomez was then hit by a pitch — though he wasn’t awarded first until the umpire checked Gomez’s hand (tough room!). And then the umpires reviewed it anyway. (The call was confirmed.) Yes, in almost-August, with two teams that have nothing to play for, this is what we want to see.
Bases loaded, pitching change, just because Buck loves torturing us a little longer.
Mike Wright Jr. came on to strike out Adames and get Joey Wendle to line to left. Finally, this wretched series is over.
I hope you enjoyed the recap if not the outcome. The Rays open the final pre-trade deadline series on Tuesday night at the Trop when they take on Mike Trout and the Angels.