It was a wild one down in Tampa Bay tonight as the Orioles and Rays traded leads until the Rays got the one run that meant the most thanks to a walkoff home run from Matt Joyce in the bottom of the 9th.
Wei-Yin Chen was confusing tonight, needing double plays in each of the first three innings to get out of innings. Then he settled down and looked great, but then he tired out and couldn't complete innings. The bullpen, featuring Luis Ayala, Pedro Strop, and Tommy Hunter, was not good tonight, coughing up the lead twice.
Offensively, the Orioles got another great game from Chris Davis, who was on base four times, including a three-run homer in the first inning that was the only score in the game through the first five innings. After that it got wild as the Rays hit weak ground balls against the shift to get on base and then Shelley Duncan, of all people, hit a game tying home run. By the time the bottom of the seventh was over the O's entire lead was gone and they were losing 7-5.
To their credit, the Oriioles fought back with solo runs in the eighth and ninth, and had a very exciting play in the top of the ninth that featured a walk from Nolan Reimold, an RBI double by Brian Roberts, and blown save by Fernando Rodney, and me jumping up and down in my living room screaming, "RUN NOLAN!" But alas, it wasn't enough, and now the Orioles are 1-1 on the year.
Stay tuned for the full recap where I'll discuss the excruciating details and try to talk everyone off the ledge after this emotional second game of the season.