Coming off a huge 1-0 win in Boston to get within one game of the division Birdland was riding high today. An eleven game home stand starting today with a four game series against the last place Rays. Time to make hay while the sun is shining. To lead this effort, the Orioles turned to Yovani Gallardo. Gallardo has gone between fine and horrible over the past couple of starts and he chose horrible tonight. The Orioles would end up losing this game 7-6. Read the rest for the gory details.
This game could not have started out much worse for the Orioles. Gallardo walked the first two Rays’ batters and then with his back against wall threw a pitch down the pipe to Evan Longoria who annihilated the ball to center field. 3-0 Rays. Excitement sucked out of the game three batters in. Gallardo managed to not allow a base runner the rest of that inning.
The Orioles offense would come back in the bottom of the first inning off of Tampa starter Blake Snell to give Gallardo a second chance. Adam Jones led off the inning with a bloop single to right field which Manny Machado followed with a single to right. Mark Trumbo worked a walk to load the bases. With two down, Matt Wieters blooped a single to left to score two. 3-2 Rays. J.J. Hardy then doubled off the wall and just over the glove of Kevin Kiermaier scoring two more runs. 4-3 Orioles. That would end the scoring for the Orioles.
Gallardo thanked the Orioles offense for bailing him out by immediately giving up back to back singles to pout runners on the corners. With one down, Logan Forsythe singled to right field scoring one run. 4-4 tied. Miraculously, Gallardo escaped further damage in the inning.
However, he would come back out for the third inning. He gave up a lead off double to Brad Miller and with two down Steven Souza Jr. would double just out of Adam Jones’ reach scoring another run. 5-4, Rays. The scoring for the third inning would stop there. The Rays would finally chase Gallardo in the fourth inning. Forsythe, again, doubled with one out and that led to Buck Showalter pulling Gallardo to raucous cheers from the home crowd.
Tommy Hunter was tasked with stranding the runners and instead he poured the gasoline on the fire. He gave up two singles to Kiermaier and Longoria scoring two more runs. 7-4 Rays. Hunter was able to get out of the inning without allowing further damage. Gallardo’s final line was: * me slamming my head against my desk repeatedly as a win slipped through the Orioles’ fingers *
The Orioles offense brought the disappointment to the middle innings as well. In the bottom of the fifth a lead off walk from Jones followed by a ground rule double by Jonathan Schoop put runners on second and third with no one down with the 3-4-5 hitters coming up. A Machado three pitch strike out, Trumbo foul out, and Davis ground out added up to no runs. The Orioles also wasted a one out Hardy walk in the bottom of the sixth inning. They would manage to waste another lead off Jones walk in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The bullpen, after Tommy Hunter, kept the score where it was and the offense would finally put something together in the bottom of the eighth inning. A lead off walk, again, this time by Davis followed by a Wieters double put runners on second and third with two down and none out. Back to back ground balls to the right side from Hardy and Michael Bourn scored the runners. 7-6 Rays. Ryan Flaherty would ground out to end the inning.
The Orioles offense would once again attempt to mount a come back in the bottom of the ninth inning. Schoop and Machado hit back to back one out singles to put runners on the corner with only one out. However, Trumbo stared at strike three and Davis swung over the top of a 60 foot slider to end the threat. In a season that is coming to a close rapidly, it’s the game like this that hurt the most. Lots of wins have been left on the calendar.
Join us here tomorrow night at 7:05 pm as the Orioles and Ubaldo Jimenez face off against the Rays and Chris Archer.