Ah, it feels like only yesterday I was complaining about West Coast road trips, and here we are with a game that starts at lunchtime. The Rays, red hot right now after a series sweep against the Mets followed it up by sweeping the Orioles as well.
With a recent spate of no-hitters, the Rays made it clear pretty early in this game they had no interest in being the next no-no victims. A Choi walk ended the perfect game bid by the third batter, and a Lowe single ended the no-hitter before the end of the first inning. It took the Rays all the way until the top of the second to get their first run though, with a Joey Wendle homer to lead off the inning.
The Rays weren’t done yet, though. Kiermaier singled, Phillips walked, and then the unstoppable force of Randy Arozarena met a VERY moveable object in this pitch, and scored a three-run home run to give the Rays a 4-0 lead in the second.
Randy #3 in less than 24 hours pic.twitter.com/ZoGnUgxiKF— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 20, 2021
Rich Hill gave up his first walk in the bottom of the second to Pedro Severino, but a double play quickly removed the baserunner and ended the inning.
In spite of a Wendle double, an error that kept him safe, and another walk for Phillips, the Rays didn’t score more runs in the third. Hill gave up some more walks of his own in the bottom of the inning, with free trips to first base for McKenna and Mullins, but no hits and no runs.
Choi walked again in the fourth, making this a fairly walk-heavy outing for both teams, but the Rays scored no runs, and the Orioles got one back in the bottom of the inning with a solo home run off the bat of Trey Mancini.
Wendle, having himself a heck of a day, singled in the fifth, but that was the only baserunner for the Rays, and a McKenna single in the bottom of the inning was all the O’s managed in return.
In the sixth the Rays decided to give themselves a bit more of a buffer with back-to-back singles from Arozarena and Meadows, then a Choi single to score Arozarena. Lowe hit a sac fly to score Meadows, and the Rays were up 6-1. Wendle got his first strikeout of the game, but let’s not talk about that.
Another walk got added to Hill’s record as Mancini took a stroll in the sixth, but it was an otherwise clean half inning. The sixth would be the end of the day and a solid start by Hill, whose final line for the day was 6.0 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 HR on 90 pitches.
In the top of the seventh the Rays were like “Hey, you know what’s fun? Scoring runs.” so they did that a little more. Mejia singled, then was thrown out on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Phillips. Phillips stole second. Then Arozarena singled to score Phillips, and since that wasn’t enough Meadows doubled to score Arozarena. It was a long enough double that Meadows ended up at third. Lowe walked, the Diaz singled to score Meadows. By the end of the half inning the score was 9-1.
The top of the eighth saw another walk from Phillips which didn’t yield any runs but I like any excuse to reference the “he gets on base” gif from Moneyball, so here we are. Arozarena and Meadows also collected more singles but no runs scored. McKenna walked again in the bottom of the inning for the O’s, but they also failed to turn their baserunner into runs.
In the top of the ninth, Joseph Wendle did it one more time with a solo home run to bring the score to 10-1, and giving him and Arozarena both a four-hit game.
The O’s lead the bottom of the ninth with a walk to Sisco, and a Galvis hit by pitch put two men aboard. But the O’s were unable to make a nine-run comeback in the bottom of the inning and as such, the Rays winning streak continues.
Final: Rays 10, Orioles 1