Jeremy Hellickson only gave up one run in over six innings of quality pitching. Unfortunately for him, Drew Sutton's throwing error in the seventh inning would be the one of only two runs the Orioles would need, winning 2-1 in a pretty sloppy game overall. Only seven hits between the two teams, with the Rays only managing to get a measly two hits off of Baltimore southpaw Brian Matusz. With the Rays trio of righty bats (Evan Longoria, Desmond Jennings and Jeff Keppinger) out with injury, Matusz didn't have to face any threatening right-handed hitters Saturday. To his credit though, Matusz struck out seven in 7.1 innings pitched, and the one run he gave up was to Drew Sutton on a fielder's choice (Sean Rodriguez scored). Endy Chavez scored the game's first run on a solo shot off Hellickson, but it took the Rays until the seventh inning for them to score their first and only run.
Drew Sutton's error was because of a rushed throw to first on his part, and as a result Mark Reynolds -who is really struggling this year- scored the last run the game would see. Even though the Rays have one of the lowest team averages in the majors, they have recently (past four seasons) been a situational-hitting team, getting men on base and hitting homers when it's do-or-die time. Tonight wouldn't be one of those games, as they only needed one run to at least give themselves a fighting chance to win in extra innings.
The good news is that the bullpen has continued to prove that they can be relied on to shut the opposing team down when called on. McGee, Peralta, Badenhop, and Howell all did their job to keep their team in the game, but when the time came, the offense just couldn't step up to the plate (pun intended). Whenever the bullpen is affective and clutch hitting happens, good things [wins] occur as a result.
With yesterday's loss the Rays fall back into a first-place tie atop the division with Baltimore. New York lost 4-3 in Detroit, so they remain 1.5 games behind. Boston—who defeated Toronto again by the score of 7-4—continues to gain, as they are now just 2 games out of first place.
Notables from tonight's game:
- J. Hellickson(TAM): (L, 4-2) 1 ER (2 R), 4 H, 8 K, BB through 6.2 IP.
- B. Zobrist(TAM): 1-3
- B. Matusz(BAL): 7.1 IP, 2 H, ER, 3 BB, 7 K
- E. Chavez(BAL): 1-4, R, RBI, HR
Rays' News and Notes:
- Jeremy Hellickson has now only allowed two earned runs in 8 of his 11 starts this season. His ERA is now 2.69.
- Desmond Jennings (knee sprain) is expected to rejoin the Rays this Tuesday in New York.
- Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times takes a look at the progress of the Rays' draft picks last season.
- DRaysBay.com has piece on the Rays' draft relationship with the Pacific Northwest region.
- Evan Longoria (hamstring) will accompany the Rays in their six-game road trip, against the Yankees (Tuesday-Thursday) and in Miami (weekend series).
- Joe Maddon said that Matt Joyce was scratched from the lineup because of an apparent illness
- Matt Moore (1-5, 4.76 ERA) will look to finally turn his season around, and Jake Arrieta (2-6, 5.37 ERA) will take the mound for Baltimore, this afternoon at 1:40 pm.