The Rays arrived in Baltimore Monday night to start a four game set against the Orioles. The Rays entered play at 52-43, in third place behind the Yankees and Blue Jays, and in second place for the top wild card spot.
Corey Kluber took the mound for the Rays, making his 19th start of the year. On the other side for the Orioles, Austin Voth made his 6th start of the year, and 29th appearance overall.
Through the first three innings, Kluber and Voth battled, both allowing just one run each. In the top of the second inning, the Rays loaded the bases with just one out, but failed to score. The Orioles immediately capitalized on the Rays inability to get the clutch hit, and plated the first run of the game in the bottom of he 2nd inning via a Rougned Odor sacrifice fly.
Brandon Lowe tied the game in the top of the 3rd with a solo shot out to left.
Worked like a Dawg to get to the pitch he wanted pic.twitter.com/v0isvSam9W— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) July 26, 2022
Voth’s day was done after just three innings and the bullpen parade ensued for the O’s. Baker, Vespi, Tate, Perez, and Bautista combined to toss 6 scoreless frames against the Rays, tallying 8 strikeouts.
Despite four solid innings from Kluber the wheels came off for the Rays in the fifth inning as they allowed four runs to cross the plate. Ryan McKenna began the inning with a single and with one out, Mullins bunted for a single. Then, Kluber promptly hit Adley Rutschman on the foot to load the bases with just one out.
Faced with the same situation the Rays had earlier in the game, the O’s cashed in. Ryan Mountcastle singled to right, scoring two. Then, after gathering a ground ball, Ji-Man Choi tried to begin an inning ending double play but the ball ended up getting away on the throw, and another run scored. To cap off the scoring, Austin Hays sent a sacrifice fly to left field.
Kluber finished the inning, but his night was over, and the Orioles were winning 5-1. His final line was 5 IP // 5 R // 4 ER // 7 H // 2 K // 1 BB. The outing was better than his line reflects and the last inning was a wearied one to say the least.
At the plate the Rays failed to break though all night despite out hitting the Orioles 8-7. Luke Raley continued to find his groove at the plate, going 2-3 with a pair of doubles and a walk. Francisco Mejia also tallied two more hits.
Since the break, the Rays have dropped three of four games to the O’s and Royals falling to just 8 games over .500. The offense that seemed to be coming to life prior to the the break, has yet to find its stride since returning. Hopefully, tomorrow they can break out the bats behind ace Shane McClanahan.