I feel like if we were going to do the statistical breakdown of recaps by author, I have been blessed with an above average number of Shane McClanahan starts on my recap days. I am certainly not complaining, because it feels an awful lot like watching the 2022 AL Cy Young winner make a case on a regular basis.
Anyway, the Rays were in Baltimore, taking on the Orioles and their new outfield wall, and things could have been better, but they certainly weren’t bad (at least until the end).
Watkins started things out for the O’s, and in the top of the first a two-out Arozarena single put a man on, but no runs scored. In the bottom of the inning Mullins hit a leadoff home run, and while that might have made a lesser pitcher feel uneasy, Shane didn’t let it get him down, continuing with his trend of a million first-pitch strikes. He easily got the next three outs of the inning, and the O’s would need to settle for a one-run lead.
Paredes got a leadoff single in the second, but was the only Rays’ baserunner. In the bottom of the second Rutschman got a one-out walk, then was ultimately out at second on a fielder’s choice that ended the inning.
Chang got a leadoff single in the third, then a Lowe single sent Chang to third. An Arozarena single (after a high inside ball next to his head made him a little cranky) brought Chang home and sent Lowe to third, but Randy was out trying to stretch his single into a double. McClanahan had his groove going by the bottom of the third with a 1-2-3 inning.
Isaac Paredes got his 14th home run of the year to kick off the fourth, then Raley singled and was able to advance to second on a throwing error. A Quinn double then scored Raley to put the Rays up 3-1. With two outs in the bottom of the inning, Shane gave up his second home run of the night, a solo shot from Santander, leaving the score at 3-2 at the end of four.
A Choi single was the only Rays baserunner in the fifth, but McClanahan balanced it out with another 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning.
A one-out Bethancourt single chased Orioles starter Watkins from the game, then a Quinn single sent Bethancourt to second. Unfortunately no additional runs scored. The bottom of the sixth was another three up three down from Shane. That continued through the seventh as both teams went 1-2-3. That also marked the end of the night for McClanahan, whose final line was 7.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 2 HR on 81 pitches.
Things got... bad in the eighth. Paredes got a walk, but the Rays were unable to extend their lead, and pretty soon it was apparent why that would have been helpful. In the bottom of the eighth, Rutschman singled off of Poche, then Urias hit a two-run home run. Mateo then got a one-out double and successfully stole third. A Mullins walk was the end of the night for Poche. Armstrong was up next, and Mullins stole second with no throw. A long flyout from Mancini scored Mateo. Then inning ended with the Orioles up 5-3.
Onto the ninth Josh Lowe came in and hit a single. Diaz then grounded into a double play. Brandon Lowe hit into a fielder’s choice to eliminate Diaz, and amid this, there was a hot mess of review calls that went the Rays' way and extended the inning a couple of times, until it was all down to Randy Arozarena. Too bad he couldn’t get a bit of rally revenge, the inning ended there.
Final: Orioles 5, Rays 3