In the bottom of the fifth inning, as rain poured down over the city of Baltimore, with the score tied at two runs each, I silently cursed the baseball gods that Ryan Yarbrough’s night was likely over.
It was not a no-hit gem, certainly, but the young starter had gone 4 1⁄3 with only one earned run on three hits. Two runs if we’re going by box score, but ERA cares not for your box score. He’d also collected an impressive five strikeouts and no walks on only 68 pitches. He had seemed poised to get through the fifth, but the weather gods had other ideas.
Yarbrough’s only missteps were early in the game, in the first inning. After an unfortunate throwing error by Willy Adames allowed Hanser Alberto to get safely to first, Trey Mancini doubled, scoring Alberto, then Mancini scored on another throwing error from Adames, giving the Orioles an early two-run lead.
In the top of the third, Austin Meadows tightened things up with a solo home run. Things moved at a quick pace from there, and then at the top of the fifth, as if in apology to Yarbrough, Adames hit a solo home run of his own to tie the game.
The looming threat of rain hung over the stadium, with grounds crew perched at the ready for the first sign that the storm would overwhelm them, and that moment came in the bottom of the fifth with one out.
Orioles starter Asher Wojciechowski, who had thrown 96 pitches over his five innings of work, was also likely done for the night, which is all for the best because I did not want to spell his name multiple times in this recap for fear of messing it up.
At this point we’re two outs shy of completing five innings, but since the game is tied it would need to be resumed at a later date regardless.
When will the game resume? Well...
And if you think you’re bored at home waiting for this to start again, well...
Two hours and fifteen minutes later, just ahead of 11pm Eastern, the game resumed with far fewer fans, and a new pitcher for the Rays in Oliver Drake, hoping to shut down the world’s longest fifth inning. He made quick work of it, and we were promptly onto the sixth.
Miguel Castro was the new Orioles pitcher, and lo, what’s this? More rain.
Someone score a run, please.
Well hey. A walk to Aguilar and then a double for Duffy with only one out... now we’re cooking with propane. WILLY ADAMES SCORES TWO ON AN RBI SINGLE. That sure makes up for those errors. A walk to Meadows put two runners on and bumped Adames to scoring position. Pham struck out to end the inning as rain continued to fall.
Drake struggled a bit in the bottom of the sixth, with a single, a walk, but he was able to escape the jam. Onto the seventh.
Nothing of interest happened offensively in the top of the seventh, then Colin Poche came on to pitch the bottom of the inning. A hit by pitch to Wilkerson put a runner on first, then hit Peterson. That was the end of the night for Poche, who was promptly replaced by Chaz Roe with one out in the inning. A beautiful sliding catch by Adames got the forced out at third on a fielder’s choice from Alberto.
Alvarado came on to pitch the eighth. A walk and a single put two men on, and after a Villar groundout, both were in scoring position. That was the end of the night for Alvarado. Nick Anderson came on. Quick work and a pop out got them out of danger. And we’re onto the ninth, so Ynoa what that means for the O’s.
Also worth noting that when there are only about 58 people left in attendance, the really obnoxious bro-zos are much easier to hear.
Okay guys, this next part will shock you, but after a Meadows double, he was able to score on... a wild pitch. Can you imagine? It upped their lead to 5-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth. It would fall to Emilio Pagan to shut the Orioles down. And shut down they were, in order, with Willy Adames making the final out of the game.
Rays win 5-2.