To the Orioles’ detriment, Rays’ starter Tyler Glasnow picked up right where he left off last time he faced Baltimore. Back on August 25th he punched out 13 Birds, and on this night he struck out 10 over five innings.
Not to be forgotten, Alex Cobb was good on this particular night. He went six innings, allowing two runs on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts.
But Glasnow was better.
Right off the bat, Cobb got two quick outs in the first but ended up allowing an earned run before the inning was over. Number three hitter Brandon Lowe singled, cleanup hitter Michael Brosseau walked, and number five hitter Nate Lowe deposited an RBI single into right field.
The O’s worked Glasnow for a lot of pitches in the first inning — 24 to be exact — but no runs.
The Birds also had a prime chance to respond in the second, but couldn’t push across any runs after loading the bases. Chance Sisco started the inning with a single against the shift that went just to the left of second base. He advanced to second on a ball in the dirt, which was followed by a walk to Austin Hays. Rio Ruiz hit a soft line drive single into left center, on which Hays barely made it back to second base after Sisco was held up ahead of him at third.
A funny exchange happened in the second inning too when Rays’ starter Tyler Glasnow spit directly on the baseball and the home plate umpire made him throw it away, only after Orioles manager Brandon Hyde hollered from the dugout.
Of the six outs registered by Glasnow through two innings, five of them were strikeouts. It took 50 pitches to get there.
Starting off the third, Tampa Bay DH Yoshitomo Tsutsugo managed a triple on a deep fly ball to right that somehow made it between DJ Stewart’s glove and the uppermost portion of the outfield fence padding. Two batters later, Brandon Lowe singled to give the Rays a 2-0 lead.
Austin Hays got the O’s on the board with a solo home run in the bottom on the fourth, cutting the Rays’ lead in half. It was his first home run of 2020 that was not of the inside-the-park variety.
The Rays replaced Glasnow on the mound with Oliver Drake to start the bottom of the sixth. The former left the game with a 2-1 lead, having finished his night with four hits allowed, one run, two walks, and the aforementioned 10 strikeouts. Glasnow threw a total of 95 pitches, including 64 strikes, and lowered his ERA to 4.21 on the year.
Austin Hays roped a single into left field with two outs in the sixth, proving that the Rays don’t know everything when they put four defenders in the outfield. But Ruiz followed with a tapper in front of the plate for the third out, moving the O’s one inning closer to the end of the game.
Paul Fry came on in relief Cobb and wasn’t able to make it out of the seventh. After striking out the first batter he faced, Fry allowed a walk and a single. He was able to induce a grounder for the second out of the inning, but then hit a batter to load the bases. That was enough for manager Brandon Hyde, who made the slow walk to the pitcher’s mound to remove Fry and install Carson Fulmer in his place.
It only took two pitches for the former Detroit Tiger to get a slow roller to the right side of the infield for the final out of the inning.
Aaron Loup came on in the seventh for Tampa and retired the Orioles in order, striking out Bryan Holaday and Pat Valaika, then getting Pedro Severino on a line-out to center. Valaika and Severino were pinch-hitting for Andrew Velazquez and Cedric Mullins, respectively.
In the eighth inning yet another Rays’ reliever, Nick Anderson, put down the Orioles 1-2-3, setting up a do-or-die situation in the bottom of the ninth with the Birds trailing by a single run.
Tampa’s fifth pitcher of the night, Ryan Sherriff, came on for the save opportunity in the final inning. Jose Iglesias was called upon to pinch hit and took the second pitch of his at-bat for a ride, but it was gloved in deep left field. Austin Hays hit a hard ground ball out to third and pinch hitter Renato Nunez then flew out to end the game.
That makes three losses to the Rays in the past two days. The Birds will have two more chances this weekend to try and get on the right side of the win column against Tampa Bay, and they will need to get more out of their offense, which has been an ongoing theme for their hot-and-cold lineup this entire season.