The Rays finally got back to their winning ways on Sunday with a 9-8 win in a crazy game with the Baltimore Orioles. The Rays’ avoided a three game sweep with the victory Sunday.
The Rays’ believed they had a win locked up with a 7-1 lead in the 4th inning with James Shields on the mound. But with 3 runs in the 6th and 2 in the 7th led by Matt Wieters , and Nick Markakis; the O’s made it a game.
Elliot Johnson and Ben Zobrist would then make history to become the first Rays’ switch hitters to ever hit back to back home runs. They were hit in the 8th inning. Nick Johnson would hit a home run in the bottom half of the 8th to keep the intensity up.
With a 9-7 lead in the 9th, the Rays sent out closer Fernando Rodney. The O’s started with a base hit. Rodney then struck-out the pinch hitter with some nasty curve balls. Sean Rodriguez made a fantastic play to retire J.J. Hardy and give the Rays two outs. After a walk to Markakis, the Orioles scored on an error by Pena (nearly a nasty play by Sean Rod) making it a one run game. With the game on the line, Rodney got a hard hit grounder to Sean Rodriguez. Rodriguez made the stop and threw out Wieters to end the game. Without Sean Rodriguez’s defense at the end of the game, the outcome could have been different.
The errors continue to be a concern for the Rays, who played some pretty embarrassing defense over the weekend. Hopefully, it's just a fluke, and not a growing problem.
The Rays are now 21-14 (8-11 on the road) and cut Baltimore's division lead to just one game. They gain some ground on New York, and are now 1.5 games ahead of them.
Notable Stat Lines
- James Shields (W, 6-1) 6.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K’s
- Jake Arrieta (L, 2-4) 3.2 IP, 10 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 6 K’s
- Fernando Rodney S (10) 1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 K
- Joel Peralta (H) 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 K
- Nick Markakis 2-4. 3 RBI
- J.J. Hardy. 2-4. 3 R’s
- Matt Wieters 2-5. HR, 2 RBI
- Ben Zobrist 3-4. HR, 3 RBI
- Matt Joyce 2-5. RBI
- Will Rhymes 2-4. RBI
News and Notes
- Sean Rodriguez’s 10 game hitting streak ended today as he was 0-1. He didn't start due to a sore pectoral.
- Around the division: The Boston beat the Indians Sunday; the Yankees and Blue Jays lost.
- The Rays next game is in Toronto Monday night. Jeff Niemann will be on the mound for the Rays against Brandon Morrow to kick off the two-game set. First pitch is at 7:07.
- Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wrote that the Rays could show interest in Kevin Youkilis.