The Rays sent Corey Kluber to the hill to try and lock up a series win against the Orioles as we head to the All-Star break. They looked to do so with another funky lineup, including Josh Lowe in the leadoff spot.
Corey is on the bump for our last game before the break pic.twitter.com/rmlSRU2EiG— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) July 17, 2022
With one out in the bottom of the first, Harold Ramírez was drilled on the thumb with an 0-2 heater from Jordan Lyles. After a long look from Cash and the training staff, Ramírez stayed in the game to run, but was replaced in the field by Luke Raley. But before he was replaced, he came around to score when Randy Arozarena crushed an 0-1 curve out to center, just beyond the glove of a leaping Mullins.
Support for Raking with Randy is provided by... actually Randy's got it covered pic.twitter.com/DiIiJk2uRM— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) July 17, 2022
Brett Phillips led off the bottom of the second with a walk, and was chased home by Josh Lowe’s two out double into the right center field gap.
Randy Arozarena led off the third with a single, and tried to score on Brandon Lowe’s double off the center field wall. The throw beat Randy by plenty, and though the replay showed that Randy might have been safe, the Rays did not challenge.
A lineout by Paredes and a walk by Walls preceded a Brett Phillips drive to right that carried into the right field stands.
Brett Phillips dugout celebrations >>> pic.twitter.com/YmwyyJWcxM— Bally Sports Sun: Rays (@BallyRays) July 17, 2022
Kluber pitched well through the first three, pitching around doubles in the first and third innings. But the Orioles finally got to him in the fourth. A hit by pitch of Santander and four singles made it 6-2 with the bases loaded and one out. A fly to JLowe was the second out, but his throw home sailed over Mejia’s head. A smart backup by Kluber kept the runners in place. Kluber then jammed Mullins with a cutter, ending in a soft popout to Paredes to get out of trouble.
The Orioles got to Kluber again in the sixth. Hays led off with a single, then scored on Odor’s two out homer to right.
Frankie got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning, lining a slider from Keegan Akin into the first row in left.
Kluber was done after six. 6 IP, 8 hits, 4 earned runs, 3 Ks, 1 walk. Brooks Raley took over at faced three hitters, striking out two and walking one (who honestly should have also been rung up. Twice!). Thompson got the call to face Mountcastle, who grounded into a force play.
Pete Fairbanks made his season debut in the eighth and gave up a solo homer to Hays on the first pitch.
The home run chain is alive and well‼️ pic.twitter.com/gCwBTK7Cyo— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) July 17, 2022
Not really a bad pitch. Sometimes you just gotta tip your cap. 7-5 Rays.
Rutschman followed and turned around 3-1 fastball and doubled into the gap. But Pete bounced back to strike out Urias, coaxed a pop to center from Odor, and fan Mateo on three pitches. All in all, not a bad return for Pete.
Jason Adam got the ninth and sat down the side in order.
We go to the break with the top wild card spot, a mere 13 games behind the Yankees in the AL East. We get back at it in Kansas City at 8:10 PM Friday.
If I were to find myself in possession of your standard three wish genie, I’m not sure if I would waste one of them on this Francisco Mejía. But if I had a ten wish genie? Yes, I would definitely throw a wish or two Frankie’s way to teach him to stop swinging at 1) pitches he has no chance at reaching and 2) pitches that are going to hit him.
Nick Mahrley’s zone today was so big it was laughable. He made up for it by also being inconsistent.
X-rays confirmed a thumb fracture to Harold. Because of course.
The Santander hit by pitch came not long after it was confirmed that Ramírez had a broken thumb. I’m sure it was just a coincidence.
Taylor Walls extended his hitting streak to five games with a double to right in the fifth. He is hitting ,389 over that stretch.
Brett Phillips’ dinger was his first since May 17th.
Brandon Lowe had a 4 for 4 day, including two hard hit doubles and a shift beating lob wedge.
The Rays put traffic on the bases in every inning except the fourth and the eighth.