How we got here
Hunter Wood was the opener of choice tonight and right away he struck out the lead-off batter Jace Peterson on three pitches.
He appeared to be entering trouble after allowing a double and walking a batter but a first-pitch swinging Mark Trumbo grounded into a double play to end the first inning.
Wood’s night quickly turned south in the second inning after he allowed a leadoff single to Trey Mancini. After a quick first out on a failed bunt attempt by Renato Nunez, Chris Davis singled to put two runners on for Joey Rickard, who never seems to be forgiving to his former organization, as he has a .295 career average against the Rays.
Rickard quickly bumped that average up with a triple, and he was quickly driven in by Austin Wynns to give Baltimore a 3-0 lead in the second. A well-executed Bauers to Adames double play by Jace Peterson got the Rays out of the inning.
Yonny Chirinos relived Hunter Wood from his opening duties to start the third inning and struck out the first batter he faced, Tim Beckham.
Chirinos would fly through the third with only a hit allowed and give the Rays a chance to cut into Baltimore’s lead, and that the Rays offense did. Two quick outs for David Hess would be followed by two straight walks to Jesus Sucre and Mallex Smith and give Matt Duffy a prime opportunity to drive home a run. Duffy slapped a 2-0 fastball into right-center field scoring Sucre.
Mallex was thrown out at the plate to end the inning, but hey, the Rays finally had a run on the board!
A quiet and smooth top of the fourth inning for Chirinos included a strikeout of Chris Davis, while Ji-Man Choi made sure to provide opposite-field fireworks in the bottom of the fourth, launching his fourth home run of the season, cutting the deficit to one.
In the bottom of the sixth, Mallex Smith started things off with a single to left field, followed by a Matt Duffy single to right. Mallex made sure to bring his Effect as he safely made it to third base. Jake Bauers created a brand new ballgame with 333 foot sacrifice fly, scoring Mallex and tying the game at 3!
In the top of the seventh, Yonny allowed a leadoff home run to Renato Nunez, giving the O’s a 4-3 lead. Conveniently for us, however, is that the Rays have developed a mentality to never give up.
Baltimore brought in Cody Carroll in the bottom of the seventh, and Willy Adames welcomed him into the game with a lead-off single. After two outs, Carroll walked Mallex Smith and Matt Duffy, loading the bases for Jake Bauers.
Powered by Bauers
Baltimore lead, meet a deserving Rookie of the Year candidate:
Yonny Chirinos’s first career win ended after five innings and 63 pitches, 45 of those being strikes. He would make way for Jose Alvarado in the eighth inning, who struck out two and allowed no hits in a strong setup inning.
Sergio Romo was then summoned to close out the game and he did just that, including striking out the final batter in the game in his third appearance of the series (in order: Win, Loss, Save).
The Rays beat the Orioles 5-4 for the series victory, and will travel across the border to Toronto for a 7pm match-up tomorrow night.
Now here it is, your moment of Zen
To sign off from my first recap, I leave you with this:
JAKE BAUERS IS THE GOAT, SERGIO ROMO SHUTS THE DOOR, RAYS BEAT THE ORIOLES 5-4!!!!! pic.twitter.com/FX6CjZpSSh— Dominik (@domhunt18) August 10, 2018
Editor’s Note: Please join me in officially welcoming Dominik to the masthead. He’s been an integral part of our team this season, making the GIFs we all love, and is now a contributing writer. Welcome, Dom! - DR