Rays hold on for 9-6 win over Orioles

Share on Nextdoor

Tampa Bay tacked on a run each in the second and third innings; Upton scored Zobrist in a sac fly and Damon plated Casey Kotchman with a base hit, respectively.

Davis was charged with another run in the third when Jones doubled and eventually scored on a throwing error by Rodriguez; his errant toss to Longoria wound up out of play, giving Jones a free pass to the plate. No. 40 yielded five runs on eight hits over his six-plus innings pitched.

When the Rays added two more in the top of the seventh for a 7-3 lead and a bit of insurance, the Orioles notched two runs of their own in the home half of the frame.

Two more for Tampa Bay in the top of the eighth?

One more for Baltimore in the bottom.

With the back-and-forth between these squads so far this season—from trading sweeps to back-to-back complete-game shutouts—did fans expect anything different?

The series win for the Rays tied the season series at six games apiece.


These teams aren't even competing for first place; if Toronto was faring better, they'd be fighting to push each other down the cellar steps. It just serves to illustrate how competitive the A.L. East really is.

The little things made the difference in this one. Ya know, basics. Fundamentals.

Little things like Longoria's inside-the-park home run in the eighth.

Basics like Ruggiano's second highlight-reel catch in left field in as many games.

Fundamentals like Kelly Shoppach finally remembering to bring his bat.

This series win is exactly what the Rays needed to help round out this road trip. They're set to stop off in Detroit for a makeup game Monday before heading home to host the division-leading Boston Red Sox (currently on a nine-game win streak).

No big deal.

A strong showing against the boys from Beantown could be the difference between back-and-forth with Baltimore in the basement andback on top.

But first, rookie Alex Cobb (1-0, 4.24 ERA) is set to start in the Motor City against Phil Coke (1-6, 4.11)—the jokes just write themselves with that last name but it still beats Furbush. That road finale is scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch.

click to enlarge Stock photo - Kevin Tall
Kevin Tall
Stock photo

Stock photo

Ah, more back-and-forth in Baltimore.

Q: What do you get when two teams in the American League East division face off on a Sunday afternoon and both clubs refuse to die?

A: A hell of a baseball game.

The Tampa Bay Rays knocked Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Brian Matusz from the game just one out into the second inning of the matinee. The rest of the lineup wouldn't roll over as easily for the resurgent Rays offense.

Despite posting nine runs on 14 hits—including a three-spot off Matusz in the first inning—Tampa Bay found itself in a dogfight in Baltimore.

Johnny Damon led off the game with a home run, the first of three consecutive hits. Ben Zobrist and Justin Ruggiano both singled and Big Ben scored on a sac fly—one of three RBI on the day—by Evan Longoria. Rays runners got in Matusz's head with some base stealing, including a double steal by B.J. Upton and Sean Rodriguez.

All told, they sent nine men to the plate and this one looked to be an easy win.

Adam Jones and Vlad Guerrero homered back-to-back off Rays starter Wade Davis in the bottom half of that same first inning to pull within a run.

So much for easy…

Scroll to read more Sports & Recreation articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.