The only thing that hurts more than a balk-off loss in 10 innings is following it up with a walk-off loss in 10 innings the next day. The Tampa Bay Rays lost 5-4 to the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday after blowing a 3-run lead in the eighth inning.
Things got off to a concerning start in the first inning. Not because the Rays were retired in order but because Wander Franco was pulled from the game with what was later reported as discomfort in his right hand and wrist. He was seen grimacing during the at-bat and will be evaluated on Monday. Franco had a 10-game hit streak coming into the game and the Rays will have to find some offense as it was reported after the game he is headed back to the IL.
Wander Franco left the game with discomfort in his right hand and wrist.— Tricia Whitaker (@TriciaWhitaker) July 9, 2022
He will go undergo further evaluation, including a visit with Dr. Doug Carlan on Monday.
#Rays Cash said Franco is going on the IL and it likely is a hamate issue— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) July 10, 2022
Drew Rasmussen did his part to give the Rays an opportunity to win by striking out six and providing four scoreless innings. He got in and out of some trouble in the bottom of the third inning after loading the bases with one out after a single to Nick Senzel, a single to Brandon Drury, and walking Tommy Pham. He was able to get out of the inning after an infield fly and finally getting Tyler Stephenson to lineout to Isaac Paredes. He finished with a line of 4.0 IP, 0 R, 2 BB, and 6 K on 84 pitches.
Drew Rasmussen, Dirty 85mph Slider. pic.twitter.com/hegB1AUzmR— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 9, 2022
Hunter Greene was the starter for the Reds and he had a very impressive performance striking out nine over six innings including six strikeouts on pitches over 100 mph. The Rays were mostly unable to hit his velocity with two of their three hits coming on pitches below 90 mph. The Rays did take advantage of his command issues drawing four walks, especially in the fifth inning.
Isaac Paredes ledoff the inning by drawing a walk and moved to second two batters later on a walk to Taylor Walls. Francisco Mejia converted the walks to a run with a RBI-single to right to give the Rays an early 1-0 lead.
Hunter Greene had SIX strikeouts on 100.0+ mph pitches today— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) July 9, 2022
That's the most by anyone in an outing in the pitch-tracking era (since 2008)
The score remained the same until the top of the eighth inning with Ian Gibaut on the mound for the Reds. Mejia got a leadoff single by beating out the play at first as Mike Moustakas was unable to make the play. The Rays then loaded the bases on a Josh Lowe walk and a single from Yu Chang bringing Harold Ramirez to the plate. Harold delivered hitting his second of three doubles in the game scoring Mejia and Lowe. Rays led 3-0 through the top half of the eighth.
The Rays were six outs away from a win with a three-run lead and then the Reds rallied on Brooks Raley.
Raley entered in the bottom of the eighth and promptly gave up back-to-back singles to Tyler Stephenson and Kyle Farmer. Two batters later he loaded the bases by hitting Donovan Solano with a pitch to end his appearance.
Colin Poche came in was not much more effective initially as he walked Nick Senzel with the bases loaded to score Stephenson. The Rays had no answer for Brandon Drury all game and two at-bats later he hit a RBI-single scoring Farmer and Solano to tie the game 3-3. Thankfully, a Tommy Pham strikeout ending the inning.
I know I wasn’t the only person nervous when Matt Wisler took the mound in the ninth inning. I think the balk was an unnecessary call Friday night and it feels too soon to try to offer the opportunity for redemption. Concerns aside, Wisler retired the side in order and to extra innings we went.
Things looked good in the top of the 10th as Josh Lowe was the inherited runner and advanced to third base on a Yandy Diaz flyout bringing Ramirez to the plate. Ramirez hit his third double of the game, scoring Lowe and putting the Rays back in the lead 4-3.
In the bottom of the 10th Calvin Faucher came in and things did not end well. Matt Reynolds hit a leadoff single and advanced to second on a wild pitch that allowed the inherited runner Farmer to score and tie the game. A mound visit did not help as Solano hit a single to move Reynolds to third and setup a walkoff RBI-single from Senzel.
The performance of Rasmussen, three doubles from Ramirez, and four walks from Ji-Man Choi were all naught as the Rays fall 5-4 and lose back-to-back games.
Shane Baz and the boys will try to avoid getting swept in the final game of the series tomorrow at 1:40pm ET.