Written by Tony Pente
In a brutal display of horrible and downright pitiful clutch hitting, the Orioles lost another one run game by losing 4-3 to the Rays. The Orioles left 15 men on base, nine of which were in scoring position and five on third base.
In a common theme for the 2013 season, Chris Tillman struggled through the early innings before finding his groove. Tillman used over 50 pitches to get through the first two innings but was able to get some keys outs to hold the Rays to a 2-0 lead. In the 4th though, Matt Joyce touched him up for a two-run homer to give the Rays a 4-2 lead. Tillman settled down tossing two scoreless innings before getting pulled after 107 pitch and six innings of work.
Final Line: 6 IP, 4 ER, 5 hit, 1 BB, 5K.
- Troy Patton started the 7th and got two outs, but in between gave up a double Jose Molina.
- Buck went to Francisco Rodriguez who promptly walked Desmond Jennings before weild pitching runners to 2nd and 3rd. He bared down a struck out Ben Zobrist on a nice 2-2 changeup to keep it 4-2 Rays. He started the 8th and loaded the bases with no outs before getting a line drive double play from Chris Davis.
- Brian Matusz replaced K-Rod with runners on first and third but Rays manager Joe Madden pinch hit right-handed hitting Jason Bourgeois. Matusz got Bourgeois to ground out to second to end the threat. After getting Jose Molina to fly out to center to start off the 9th, he was replaced by Tommy Hunter after the Rays pinch hit Sean Rodriguez for Kelly Johnson.
- Tommy Hunter came into the game with right-handers hitting just .123 off him and got the right-handed hitting Rodriguez on one pitch as JJ Hardy made a nice play up the middle. He then got Jennings to hit slow roller to third but Manny Machado, despite an outstanding effort, was unable to get him out and threw the ball away with Jennings moving to second on the error. He then got Ben Zobrist to ground back to him for the easy third out.
- Matt Wieters was a monster all night and even showed some wheels on the bases. In the bottom of the 3rd he just missed a three-run homer, but had to settle for a RBI double when his long shot hit just below the top of the center field fence. In the 5th innings he lined a single then went 1st to third on a JJ Hardy hit down the left field line. His aggressive running allowed Hardy to get to second base. Unfortunately they were both left there as Markakis and Pearce failed to knock them in. In the 7th inning switched to the left side of the plate and hammered a Joel Peralta split-finger pitch over the right field fence for his 18th home run of the season to make it 4-3. Unfortunately, with the tie run on second in the bottom of the 8th, Jake McGee struck him out on a high fastball.
- Danny Valencia collected a RBI double, single and walk off Price. He then singled off Peralta in the 7th.
- JJ Hardy celebrated his birthday by collecting three hits including a lead off single in the 9th.
- In the top of the 8th with the bases loaded and no outs, Yunel Escobar lined a shot that looked destined for right field but Chris Davis leaped up and stabbed the ball out of the air and then alertly doubled Wil Myers off second base for two huge outs.
- Brian Roberts came in and made a nice bare hand play to end the 8th.
- Rays left fielder Bourgeois dropped a flyball down the left field line in the 8th that was scored a double by Davis but should have been an error.
- In the top of the 9th, Machado bare handed a ball on a slow roller from the speedy Desmond Jennings. During the throw though he threw the ball wide allowing Jennings to get to second base for a single and an error.
- After loading the bases in the 8th with no outs, K-rod gets a lined drive double play then Brian Matusz gets the next batter to escape the inning unscathed.
- After Hardy led off the 9th with a single, Buck pinch ran Alexi Casilla. On a 1-1 count, the Rays basically threw a pinch out as Rodney delivered a 95 MPH high fastball that allowed Molina to fire to second and get Casilla at second base on the steal attempt.
Observations and Musings
- The Orioles put 12 men on base in five innings against David Price but scored just two runs thanks to a very unclutch 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position leaving seven runners in scoring position.
- They ended up stranding 15 runners on the night by going 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
- The Orioles are 1-8 in one run games since the All-Star break. That highlights every mistake.
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