The Baltimore Orioles have clearly agreed with the rest of us that all hopes for the playoff are gone. They lost to the Rays today 3-1 in a game where they totaled three hits, two of which came in the ninth inning. Leadoff batter for the Rays David DeJesus homered in the first inning and the Orioles didn't come close to tying the game the rest of the day.
Lefty Enny Romero was making his major league debut for the Rays and he held the Orioles to just one hit over 4 2/3 innings. He did walk four, including two in the second inning, but the listless Orioles couldn't take advantage. After he was removed from the game the Rays used five relief pitchers, none of which allowed a baserunner until Fernando Rodney came on in the ninth inning.
Manny Machado was the very first batter of the game and he singled but was erased on a double play ball. Thirty-one batters later, Danny Valencia got the second hit of the game with two outs in the ninth. Featured in this especially boring and excruciating game was Joe Maddon using three pitchers in the sixth innig to face three Orioles, all of whom struck out.
The Orioles only run came in the ninth inning when Valencia, who had moved to second base on defensive indifference, scored when Matt Wieters hit a "double." In any other baseball park it would have been a pop out to second base, but at Tropicana Field sometimes things hit the roof because that stadium is ridiculous.
Starting pitcher for the Orioles, Scott Feldman, had a decent day. But on a day when your team sends up 30 batters between hits, decent isn't close to good enough. After DeJesus homered in the first inning, Feldman kept the Rays off the board until the sixth inning when Rays manufactured two runs on a single, a walk, a wild pitch, a sacrifice fly, a single, a stolen base, and finally another single.
Feldman pitched 6 1/3 innings with Brian Matusz and Darren O'Day finishing the game.
The finale of this once important series is tomorrow at 3 p.m. The Orioles will try not to get swept with Wei-Yin Chen facing the Rays' Chris Archer.