On bark at the park day, the Rays refused to roll over and play dead. They battled back from a four run deficit, before coming up on the losing side of a 5-3 dogfight. It was Charlie Morton’s first loss in four dog years.
With the club sporting Devil Ray throwbacks, Morton was bedeviled by Angels not named Trout and Ohtani. The big two were 0 for 6 with 3 strikeouts against Morton. The rest of the lineup were like yippy little Yorkshire terriers, pestering the Rays righty throughout his six innings of work, scoring four times on five hits. Morton also walked two and struck out nine.
After breezing through the first, Morton got bit in the second. A leadoff walk was followed by what should have been a bloop single to left center from Brian Goodwin. However Kiermaier and Pham were both charging hard, and the ball bounced over both their heads. Before the outfielders could fetch the ball, Goodwin was on second and Kevan Smith scored all the way from first. David Fletcher followed and made the misplay moot by hooking one just over the fence in left. 3-0 Angels.
In the fourth, the non-Trout portion of the lineup bit Morton again when Justin Bour hit one out the other way. 4-0 Angels.
Meanwhile, young lefty Jose Suarez — making just his third big league start — kept the Rays off balance, throttling back and forth between a low-90s fastball and a nice changeup. Through the front five, the Rays offense consisted of a walk and a single by Tommy Pham and a single by Kiermaier.
The Rays finally made some noise against Suarez as they started the third time through the order in the sixth. Back to back singles by Garcia and Pham started it. Austin Meadows then just missed hitting one out to dead center, with Trout making the catch just short of the wall. But when Yandy Diaz followed, he did not “just miss” anything, lining a change up out the other way.
4-3, to make it a game, but they could get no closer. Down the stretch, they were held in check, managing just a seventh inning single from d’Arnaud.
The Rays bullpen was also solid. After Adam Kolarek worked a clean seventh, Jake Faria got the nod, and was on his way to making a solid return to the big club — a solo homer by Kevan Smith notwithstanding. He also got a little help from his friends.
For the day, Faria worked two innings, giving up just the one run on two hits while striking out two and walking no one.
The loss dropped the Rays into a tie for first place with the Yankees, with New York playing in Chicago against the White Sox later this evening.
Finally, for those of you who aren’t emotionless robots, this also happened: