After a Rays’ 3-1 win over the Orioles for game 1 of the doubleheader, the Rays only need 1 more win to clinch a 2020 playoff spot.
Here’s how the lineups line up for game 2 of the doubleheader, with the Rays’ being the “Home Team” in Baltimore.
19,880th player in MLB history: Bruce Zimmermann— Céspedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) September 18, 2020
- grew up, went to HS in Baltimore
- 2 years at Towson then transferred to D-II Mount Olive
- 5th round pick by ATL in '17 as a senior
- traded to BAL in Kevin Gausman deal in July '18
- very good in AA, reached AAA in '19 pic.twitter.com/ZAODHVjMxc
For those wondering about Austin Meadows:
Per @TriciaWhitaker on the broadcast: Austin Meadows left the game with left oblique soreness.— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) September 17, 2020
This game would not come easy for the Rays.
The game literally opened up with the Orioles’ Cedric Mullins bunting for a hit on the first Trevor Richard’s pitch.
Richards was able to get out of it and induced a double play take away the lead off hit.
In the bottom of the first inning, the Rays got two baserunners on. Hunter Renfroe got hit by a Zimmerman pitch on his left knee, and Brandon Lowe worked a walk to put two runners on, two outs and Willy Adames to the plate, who was 0-4 in the first game of the doubleheader.
Thats one way to break out of a slump - Rays take a 3-0 lead.
The Orioles didn’t go down quietly - as Trevor Richards gave up a solo HR to Hanser Alberto to give the O’s their first run of the game.
Orioles scored again in the 3rd inning after Trevor Richards walked DJ Stewart, and gave up a double to Ryan Mountcastle to bring the Orioles within one.
Rays got the run back in the bottom of the 3rd inning, with Hunter Renfroe crushing a first pitch fastball to give the Rays a 4-2 lead.
The #Rays Hunter Renfroe now has homered in three of his last four games, walking twice in the other game played.— Neil Solondz (@neilsolondz) September 18, 2020
Trevor Richards got into trouble again in the 4th inning with a single to Chance Sisco to put one runner on. It didn’t get any better as Richards gave up a 2 run HR to Rio Ruiz to tie the game at 4.
That would be it for Trevor Richards as manager Kevin Cash would then to go RHP Ryan Thompson.
Trevor Richards’ final line: 3.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 BB, and 4 Ks.
Ryan Thompson got one strikeout, but then give up back to back singles to Pat Valaika and Cedric Mullins, then a bases clearing double to DJ Stewart to give the Orioles their first lead of the game at 6-4.
Rays had an answer in the bottom of the 4th. After Nate Lowe opened the inning with a single, Joey Wendle hit his 3rd HR of the year and tied the game (again) for the Rays at 6.
Pete Fairbanks replaced Ryan Thompson for the 5th inning, and things started to get, “interesting(?)”
First off, after Fairbanks struck out Pedro Severino for the first out of the 5th inning. Fairbanks got ahead of Chase Sisco 0-2 and threw 100 fastball nearly down the middle for a
strikeout ball. It wasn’t a borderline pitch, it was very much in the strike zone.
I watched that live and my wife asked if everything was okay from downstairs— Jeff Sullivan (@based_ball) September 18, 2020
Seriously - It was a BALL. You know what happened next? Sisco singled, because of course he did.
Hanser Alberto struck out on a foul tip, and Rio Ruiz hit a 98 MPH ground ball to Willy Adames who made a great stop and throw to Nate Lowe, but Lowe couldn’t stay on the bag and Rio Singled. Two runners on with 2 outs, and the game tied at 6. Thankfully, Fairbanks got Austin Hays to ground into a forceout to end the inning.
Nate Lowe would make up for his defensive blunder in the bottom of the 7th. Mike Brosseau and Willy Adames both opened the inning to put two runners on.
Nate Lowe in 2020: 169 wRC+ with a .385 BABIP in 30 Gs. Seems to be finally hitting his stride.
Rays lead 7-6, and would just pile it on from here, and another run before recording an out. Manuel Margot bunt singled to load the bases, and then Kevan Smith singled (with the help of the Baltimore Defense) to score another run.
Back to back sacrifice fly balls by Wendle and Randy Arozarena gives the Rays two more runs and a score of 10-6.
No more drama or weird plays as John Curtiss comes in for the 6th & 7th inning, and although ran into some trouble in the top of the 7th inning, was able to secure the win, and clench the second playoff spot in the East.
FINAL: RAYS - 10, ORIOLES - 6 AND A PLAYOFF SPOT.
The past couple of weeks haven’t been pretty, but it has been nice to see both Lowes, Adames and the bullpen step up and clinch this playoff win.
gO CRAZY! POP THE IMAGINARY CHAMPAGNE! pic.twitter.com/CMIzg4vz7U— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) September 18, 2020
Rays close out the Baltimore Series tomorrow with current Tampa Bay Ray Tyler Glasnow squaring up against former Tampa Bay Ray Alex Cobb. Gametime is 7:35 pm.