Written by Chris Slade
Tonight's game pitted talented right handers Chris Tillman (3-1, 3.68 ERA) and Chris Archer (2-1, 4.84 ERA) up against each other. The Rays struck early when Evan Longoria hit a two-run homer in the 1st inning. The Orioles cut the lead to one when Steve Pearce hit his first home run of the year in the 3rd. JJ Hardy sac flied a run in to tie the game in the 4th and Adam Jones sac flied in a run to give to Orioles a 3-2 lead in the 5th. The Rays were able to tie things up in the 7th when Ben Zobrist hit a sac fly off Darren O'Day. The Orioles responded (after a freak lightning delay) in the 8th when Ryan Flaherty singled in a run and Hardy followed with an RBI groundout. Tommy Hunter loaded the bases in the 9th but worked a clean inning for the save.
Chris Tillman settled in nicely after the first inning blemish to Longoria. He didn't have his usual strikeout stuff tonight, recording just two on the night, both in the 4th inning. He cruised through the 6th inning, keeping the ball low in the zone while inducing 10 groundouts on the night. He remained in to pitch the 7th, but a leadoff single and walk allowed ended his night. He would be charged a third earned run on the inhereted runner that scored on Darren O'Day, ultimately taking a no-decision.
Final Line: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, HR, 2 BB, 2 K
Darren O'Day took over in the 7th inning with inherited runners from Tillman. He got three straight outs but not before the Rays were able to score on a Ben Zobrist sac fly.
Zach Britton worked a scoreless 8th, striking out James Loney in the inning.
Tommy Hunter was up to his usual antics in the 9th, loading the bases with on out and Desmond Jennings up. Hunter was able to get Jennings to fly out to shallow right with the runner holding at third. He then struck out Logan Forsythe swinging to end the game.
Aside from Steve Pearce's solo bomb, the Oriole bats were uncharacterically scrappy tonight, driving in three runs via sac fly or RBI groundout. They were able to notch 7 hits over 5 innings against Chris Archer, who they've hit well before, but Archer limited the damage with some key strikeouts to work out of jams.
Ryan Flaherty went 2-for-4 with an RBI single in the 7th and is quietly above the mendoza line now.
Nelson Cruz continues to swing a hot bat with a 2-for-5 night and a run scored.
Matt Wieters, elbow issues aside, was still able to deliver a 2-for-4 game as the Oriole DH.
Defensive Highlights/ Lowlights
Manny Machado made a rare fielding miscues on a groundball in the 2nd inning that allowed Wil Myers to reach base. Myers would be left stranded.
Key Moments In The Game
The Orioles coming through with key sac flies as every runs we're hard to come by tonight, despite the O's having a couple different bases loaded situations.
"Don Stanhouse" getting the final two outs in the 9th to strand the bases loaded.
Other Notes/ Musings
As you may have heard by now, the infamous "going to see James Andrews" line was dropped tonight regarding Matt Wieters throwing arm.
Caleb Joseph was pulled from tonight's game at Norfolk which means DL time may be likely in the near future for Wieters.
Three sac flies and an RBI groundout accounted for half the runs scored tonight for all the small ball fans out there.
Same time tomorrow night in Tampa. Bud Norris and Cesar Ramos on the mound.
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