The Rays’ slump continued with 5-1 loss to the second place Baltimore Orioles. It was the fifth loss in as many games on this road trip from hell, dropping the hometown nine to 4-6. It is the first winless road trip since 2016, and the farthest the Rays have been below .500 since June 2018.
Well, let’s get at it.
Both teams wasted chances in the early going. Yandy Diaz led off the game with a single but was stranded as the Rays continued to look flummoxed by 86 mph “fastballs.” The Rays then loaded the bases in the second on singles from Renfroe, Adames and Kiermaier before a pop out to left by Zunino and a Diaz grounder to third ended the threat.
Yonny Chirinos pitched out of a jam in the first. Hanser Alberto led off with a single on a ball that probably should have been caught by Margot. A Nunez walk with one out put men on first and second, and a Chance Sisco HBP with two outs loaded the bases. Yonny then got Stewart to ground to first on an awkward play by Jose Martinez.
With one out in the Orioles half of the second, Andrew Velazquez dropped down a bunt and advanced to second on a bad throw by Brosseau. Chirinos picked up his defense by striking out Cedric Mullins and getting Alberto to ground to Lowe at second.
Yonny ran out of luck in the third, giving up a one out solo shot to Renato Nunez. It could have been worse, as Sisco singled through the shift with two outs, followed by a D.J. Stewart walk. But Valaika’s hooked drive down the left field line was run down by Margot for the third out.
In the the O’s half of the fifth, the Rays dodged a bullet to keep the score 1-0. Anthony Santander led off with a hard single to right. He moved up to second on a tapper back to the mound by Nunez. Chirinos then got Severino to pop out to right on a nice running grab by Renfroe, ending Yonny’s day. He was fairly sharp in his 4.2 innings, throwing 42 of his 72 pitches for strikes. He gave up four hits, struck out three and walked two.
Jalen Beeks came on and faced pinch hitter Jose Iglesias. Iglesias singled to right, and Renfroe came up throwing. On a bang-bang play at the plate, Severino was initially called out, and the call stood after some inconclusive replays.
The Rays finally got to Milone in the sixth, chasing the lefty when Brandon Lowe led off and lifted a 2-2 change over the centerfield wall.
New ballgame at 1-1.
But after Beeks worked a clean sixth, the Orioles broke the game open with three in the seventh. It started with a Cedric Mullins bunt single that ended Beek’s day at 1.1 innings, two hits and a strikeout.
Chaz Roe got the call, and it did not go well. First, he gave up a steal to Mullins. Alberto then doubled to right, scoring Mullins. Then after a Santander fly out, Nunez singled to center, scoring Alberto as KK’s throw sailed up the third base line. Finally, after a Severino strikeout, Iglesias doubled, scoring Nunez. Roe struck out Hays to end the inning.
In the bottom of the eighth, Baltimore pushed it to the final margin of 5-1 when Valaika took Alvarado deep.
Maybe most frustrating was the way the Baltimore pen owned the Rays, getting four perfect innings, one from Castro, one from Phillips, and two from Sulser. In all, the Baltimore staff retired 23 of the last 25 Rays to come to the plate.
We are thankfully off tomorrow.