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Rays 1, Orioles 2: Rays offense disappears in game one of the doubleheader

Brendan McKay’s strong outing was essentially wasted with only one run of support from the offense

MLB: Game One-Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

With a day-night doubleheader on the schedule for today, the Rays sent rookie Brendan McKay out to pitch in the afternoon tilt against the Baltimore Orioles.

Starting for the Orioles on the mound was right-handed pitcher Aaron Brooks, claimed by the Orioles eight days ago after the Oakland Athletics designated him for assignment.

Brooks and McKay both worked hitless first innings, but while Brooks did not strike any Rays out, McKay struck out two Orioles.

In the second inning, McKay struck out two more batters, setting a new career high for the lefty in his Major League career. Baltimore’s starter Aaron Brooks did not allow a hit in his 2.2 innings of work, but Brooks was pulled for Jimmy Yacabonis after only 32 pitches from Brooks.

With Yacabonis on the mound, the Rays put a run on the board in the top of the third, when Mike Zunino hit his fifth home run on the season, giving the Rays a 1-0 lead.

While the Orioles were batting in the bottom half of the third, the Rays announced a trade, which may have been the most exciting thing to happen during this game. Here’s a link to DRaysBay’s analysis of the pitcher acquired by the Rays, Peter Fairbanks.

Brendan McKay cruised through five innings on the mound for the Rays, striking out seven while allowing only three hits and not walking anybody. McKay threw 86 pitches with 61 of them for strikes.

Andrew Kittredge relieved McKay and Kittredge recorded two outs before Colin Poche came in to pitch in the sixth. Poche allowed a two-run home run to Stevie Wilkerson in the seventh, giving Baltimore a 2-1 lead. Although Poche blew the lead, he struck out three in his 1.1 innings of work to keep the Rays in this game in hopes of a late-inning comeback.

Emilio Pagan worked the eighth inning, striking out two and still keeping this game within one, giving the offense a chance to tie the game in the top of the ninth.

Unfortunately, with Orioles closer Mychal Givens working the final two innings, the Rays could not muster a hit in either inning and fell to the Orioles, 2-1.

In a game that saw only three runs scored while taking over three hours to complete (which was 15 minutes longer than last night’s 16-4 Rays win), the Rays offense could not muster more than one run, dropping the first game of the doubleheader. The second game of the doubleheader will start tonight at 7 pm, with Charlie Morton on the mound for the Rays against John Means and the Orioles.