The Orioles will have to wait until tomorrow to win their fourth consecutive series as Brian Matusz was unable to continue his run of effective pitching and the offense could only muster four hits against Andy Sonnanstine and the the Rays bullpen.
Brian Matusz was in and out of trouble in the first three innings but the Rays couldn't score until the fourth, but when it rained it poured. Five straight batters reached base and scored before Matusz recorded an out. From Yahoo's play-by-play log:
|- E. Longoria doubled to deep right center|
|- W. Aybar singled to shallow left, E. Longoria to third|
|- S. Rodriguez doubled to left, E. Longoria scored, W. Aybar to third|
|- B. Zobrist walked|
|- K. Shoppach homered to deep left, W. Aybar, S. Rodriguez and B. Zobrist scored|
Yes, that is a grand slam by Kelly Shoppach. Of all people. Matusz wasn't out of trouble in the inning, though, even though no other runs scored. After a ground out to Gabe Kapler, B.J. Upton singled and Jason Bartlett doubled, moving BJ to third. Carl Crawford flew out to centerfield and Adam Jones threw out Upton trying to score. Inning over. Matusz's day over.
Matt Albers relieved Matusz and allowed a run over two innings, Armando Gabino made his second appearance as an Oriole with a scoreless inning, and Alfredo Simon pitched the eighth and of course gave up a run as Kelly Shoppach hit ANOTHER home run on the day. If you're wondering how many home runs Shoppach had before today, the answer is one. One.
The Orioles blew their scoring opportunity in the first as they had runners on second and third with none out and the bases loaded with one out, but Ty Wigginton, Adam Jones, and Felix Pie couldn't take advantage. They left two more on base in the second and finally scored in the third. Wiggy singled to lead off the inning and Luke Scott walked for the second time, setting up Adam Jones to hit a three run HR that hit off the left field foul pole. The next three Orioles were retired, and the O's didn't have another base runner until a double by Matt Wieters with one out in the ninth inning. Pretty lame.
Tomorrow the Orioles try to do what they haven't done in exactly six years and win four straight series (last done 3-15 August 2004). Jake Arrieta will face rookie Jeremy Hellickson who has made two outstanding starts this year against the Twins and the Tigers, allowing just two earned runs over fourteen innings.