On a night where the Rays smoked the ball repeatedly with not a lot to show for it, they got just enough offense to knock off the Orioles 3-1. The win cut the magic number to four.
Charlie Morton got the start against Jorge Lopez.
Morton vs. López in Baltimore tonight https://t.co/DZZyqBhhg2 pic.twitter.com/9qwiOZcFuA— Tampa Bay Rays - x (@RaysBaseball) September 19, 2020
The Rays put runners on in each of the first two innings against Lopez, with the law firm of Lowe and Lowe singling in the first and Mike Brosseau singling in the second. Unfortunately the Rays were unable to capitalize.
As for Charlie Morton, he labored in the first, throwing 33 pitches in the frame as the Orioles loaded the bases with one out. Morton rebounded to strike out Severino, but hit Cisco with an 0-2 curve to drive in the first Oriole run. Morton then got Hanser Alberto to ground out and escape any further damage.
Morton labored again in the second, giving up an Austin Hays single and hitting Iglesias, causing the Orioles shortstop to be pulled from the game. But he struck out DJ Stewart to end the threat.
The Rays got on the board in the third, when Yoshi Tsutsugo hit a 3-2 fastball onto Eutaw Street.
Yoshitomo Tsutsugo goes to RIGHT!— FOX Sports Sun: Rays (@FOXSportsRays) September 20, 2020
Catch @RaysBaseball on FOX Sports Sun & FOX Sports Go: https://t.co/KgqkdRCyQk#RaysUp #MLB pic.twitter.com/tNvkhugz5r
Morton looked better in the third and fourth, with the only baserunner being Austin Hays, who was then put out on a caught stealing.
The Rays missed out on a golden scoring opportunity in the top of the fourth. Leading off, Joey Wendle doubled and advanced to third on an error by Stewart in right. But after a Brosseau strike out, KK grounded sharply to second, and with the contact play on, Wendle was thrown out at home easily. Brett Phillips then struck out to end the inning.
With one out in the fifth, Yoshi reached vis walk on a ball four that was behind him. Then, after a BLowe pop out, Randy Arozarena turned around a 95 mph heater and hit it out to right.
SaturDEMOLISHED! pic.twitter.com/Oj8ttbSf4k— Tampa Bay Rays - x (@RaysBaseball) September 20, 2020
In the bottom of the fifth, Morton again got into trouble, giving up a single and a walk with one out. Charlie came back and finished his night strong, striking out Mountcastle and Severino.
Aaron Loup came on for three hitters in the sixth, with a K and ground out sandwiched around a hit by pitch. He was replaced by Aaron Slegers, who struck out Hays to end the frame.
Slegers came back out for the seventh, and the Slegend worked a clean inning, including a nifty 3-1 putout where Slegers beat the speedy Mullins to the bag, and a drive by Stewart to right that was run down by Brett Phillips.
The Rays had a couple chances to score in the eighth. Arozarena led off with a single too right, then stole second and advanced to third when Cisco’s throw skipped into center. But after Nate Lowe struck out, Wendle tapped to second. With Arozarena coming home, Hanser Alberto threw home. Arozarena was called out on a very close play. The Rays challenged but the call stood.
The Rays got another shot when Wendle was balked to second. But Brosseau struck out to end the threat.
It was Slegers again in the bottom of the eighth. He gave up a lead off single to Mountcastle, who then advanced to second on a groundout. But there he was stranded, with Slegers finishing the inning with a strikeout of Hanser Alberto.
With Lakins pitching the ninth for the Orioles, Brett Phillips drew a one out walk, then stole second. He moved to third on a ground out, where he was stranded when Margot’s drive only reached the warning track.
To close out the game, Kevin Cash gave the ball to (checks notes) um, Aaron Slegers?
Slegers got Rio Ruiz to groundout. Oh and now Cash is coming out. Whew! Let’s see, he’s giving the ball to .... Ryan Thompson???!!!!???
Thompson’s first pitch to Hays was grounded up the middle, where Brandon Lowe made a sensational play to get the out.
Mullins followed, and flew out to Margot in shallow left. And with that, Ryan Thompson becomes the 12th different Ray to record a save, tying a Major League record. Because of course he does.
The Rays look for a five game sweep tomorrow at 1 PM.