Rays were looking for the sweep against the Baltimore Orioles, sending out an “old school” bullpen day with newly called up Michael Brosseau in the lineup (Ji-Man Choi was sent to the 10-day DL with a left ankle strain, and a last minute Kevin Kiermaier scratch due to left wrist soreness.
Stanek sharply opened the inning, striking out 2 with 0 H & 0 BB. Austin Pruitt took over and although got into some trouble in the 3rd inning by walking 2 and giving up a hit to load the bases with two out. Pruitt wiggled out of the jam by inducing a pop up to 1B Travis d’Arnaud to end the inning.
Rays 1st run came in the bottom of the 3rd inning off a bad through by Orioles 3B Rio Ruiz
Rays ended up stranding 2 runners, but took the lead at 1-0.
Pruitt found himself in trouble again, giving back-to-back singles by Hanser Alberto and Chris Davis to put two runners on with one out, and bringing up Rio Ruiz to the plate, who. promptly destroyed a 1-0 fastball and gave the Orioles a 3-1 lead.
Not to fret, Rays fans! As Rays would get a run back on Michael Brosseau’s 1st MLB HR.
Austin Pruitt, despite the HR had a solid outing. He went 5.0 IP with 6 H, 3 ER, 3 BB and 7 (!) Ks.
Rays were able to tie the game after Yandy Diaz doubled to open the 6th inning, and Avi Garcia singled him home to tie the game at 3.
Colin Poche took over for Austin Pruitt in the 7th. Poche threw 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, and 5 Ks. All five strikeouts came out on the fastball.
Colin Poche is the real deal— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) July 4, 2019
Rays had something going with Travis d’Arnaud singling to open up the 8th inning. He was lifted for Kevin Kiermaier who stole second for his 15th base of the year. A Tommy Pham groundout would move KK over to third with only 1 out. However, Kiermaier would get caught trying to advance to home on a Yandy Diaz ground ball to pitcher Michael Gyvens. Yandy Diaz was caught stealing on the next batter, and the inning was over as fast as it begun, and we are still tied at 3.
The 9th Inning
This inning had everything. Action! Suspense! Hope!
Bad news first:
Alvarado comes in and if you like happy endings and were hoping for good Jose Alvarado, then I’m about to disappoint you harder than the 2015 Rays post trade deadline
Inning opens up with a walk to Anthony Santander on 5 pitches. Ok not too bad. Rays will get 1 out with a sac bunt by Rio Ruiz to move Santander to 2nd.
The very next pitch, I kid you not, was spiked about 40 feet from the ground. Like it didn’t even hit the dirt. Runner on 3rd with one out. Alvarado gets a chopped groundout to Wily Adames, who did a admirable job of getting the ball to home plate, but wasn’t enough as Santander scored and the Orioles took a 4-3 lead.
Okay Jose. Time to reset, we just need a groundball to get out of the inning and set up the wal-
Heredia learned a valuable lesson that day. Never go full KK.
The very next pitch, the Rays got ANOTHER grounder, again to Adames, who went to gun down Villar at the plate. This time, the throw was in time!
But, Zunino couldn’t hold on and the run scores. If you lost score, because I sure did, its *checks notes*
Orioles: 6, Rays: 3. Runner on 1st. Still only 1 out.
Alvarado gave up a single to Chance Sisco to put 2 runners on. Perfect time to execute a double play!
Ok. Fine. 3 Run no doubter by Renato Nunez off a hanging slider gives the Orioles a 9-3 lead. Jose Alvarado was able to get the 2nd out, but a single off Handser Alberto ends the frustrating night for Alvarado.
His line: 0.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 0 K.
Andrew Kittredge took over and although gave up a single, was finally able to get the third out.
Now the Good News?
Alright, at least we got the series win, lets put this game behind us and get ready for this series against the Yankees.
But, as we’ve seen before, that might’ve been the Rays’ expectations of past years, but this year is different.
The first two Rays would get on base, as Avi Garcia opened the inning with a HBP (He would be ok), and All Star Austin Meadows singled to put two on with nobody out.
Haha! That’s funny guys! Giving me hope like that.
You guys, seriously this is not funny anymore. Playing with my emotions, leading me on and thinking we can stage a comeback.
Are the Rays going to do this right now? The score is Orioles: 9, Rays: 6, and after a Wily Adames single, have runners at the corners with 2 outs, and Tommy Phreaking Pham at the plate.
Pham’s at bat was a perfect microcosm of the Rays rally up to this point. Pham was quickly down 0-2 after 2 pitches, and hope was all but lost.
But Pham battled back, took 3 close pitches for balls, fouled off the next pitch, and battled back to a 3-2 count.
Tying run at the plate.
That is where the hope ended. The magic rally didn’t happen tonight. Pham took a tough pitch that ended up being a strike.
And that’s okay. I would be hard pressed to not name Tommy Pham as the batter I would want in that situation on most nights.
Your final would be Orioles: 9, Rays: 6. They win the series, and despite the tough loss end on an encouraging & hopeful ninth inning rally.
Rays have one more series before a much anticipated All Star Break, a 4 game series against the AL East leading New York Yankees.
First game is tomorrow at 5:10 PM with J.A. Happ taking on Yonny Chrinos.