If you like watching paint dry, this was the game for you. On Star Wars day, the Orioles evened the series with bad weather threatening. Much like the Rays offense, the rain never showed up. Dylan Bundy baffled the Rays all night long enroute to a 3-0 shutout. On the Rays side, Yonny Chirinos wasn’t great, but he deserved better.
Overall, there were a ton of balls put in play tonight, just like the people have been clamoring for! But my gosh was it boring. The best thing you could say about this game is they finished it up in a tidy two hours and nineteen minutes.
After the Rays squandered a lead off single by Brandon Lowe in the top of the first, the Orioles took the early lead in the bottom half. A double by Villar and a single by Mancini got things started. The Rays then traded a nicely turned double play for the run. It would be the only run Baltimore would need.
The Rays wasted a chance to get even in the second. Avisail Garcia led off by doubling to right center, then moved to third on a Kiermaier groundout. But Daniel Robertson was unable to get him in when Bundy sat him down swinging. Michael Perez was unable to pick up his teammate when he popped out to left.
The Orioles pushed their lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the third. Wilkerson led off by singling the other way, and was chased to third when Wynns chopped a painfully slow single through the vacant right side against the shift. The Rays again tried to trade the run for a double play, but the grounder to Brandon Lowe at second wasn’t hit sharply enough to turn two. The Rays did get the around the horn double play against the next hitter to get out of the inning.
In the fourth, the Orioles extended their lead to the final margin when Dwight Smith Jr. hit a bomb to center.
As for late chances, there weren’t many. They did get a mini-rally going against Bundy in the fifth, with a one out walk by Robertson and a loose-thread-of-the-uniform hit by pitch for Perez. But an around the horn double play grounder from Adames ended the threat prematurely.
With one out in the eighth, Michael Perez went the other way and one-hopped a double off the wall, bringing Bundy’s night to an end after 96 pitches. The Rays managed only three hits against him, while striking out four times and walking once.
Another blown chance came to the first batter new pitcher Shawn Armstrong faced, when Willy Adames laid down a swinging bunt which Armstrong threw it into right field. However, Adames was called out for running out of the runner’s lane. (And it was a good call; Willy was waaaaaay inside the line.) By rule, Perez was sent all the way back to second. A strikeout to Lowe ended the inning.
Yonny Chirinos gave way to Jose Alvarado with one out in the eighth. The three runs Chirinos allowed came on seven hits and a walk. He struck out three. Alvarado cleaned up the rest of the inning.
Mychael Givens came in to work the ninth and surrendered a walk to Choi, giving the Rays one final glimpse of hope through the clouds. But Nate Lowe saw his five game hitting streak come to an end on a game-ending double play.
Baseball is cruel.