June 11, 2011
A: Baltimore Orioles
W: Juan Cruz: (4-0) 3.52 ERA
L: Jeremy Accardo (3-2) 4.15 ERA
S: Kyle Farnsworth (14) 1.13 ERA
The Rays and Orioles battled all night and at times it was really a grind. The Rays took and early 3-0 lead. In the first, Evan Longoria doubled home Johnny Damon. In, the fifth, back to back doubles by Damon and Ben Zobrist and a single by Evan Longoria produced two more runs. The Orioles bounced right back off of David Price taking a 4-3 after six thanks to two homers by Mark Reynolds.
That’s when the game started to get interesting.
The Rays tied the game in the seventh when Casey Kotchman hit a little dribbler up the middle with Zobrist on second. Second baseman Robert Andino fielded but then threw wildly to first which scored Zobrist. He would have been better off just holding onto the ball and conceding the single.
J.P. Howell threw a scoreless seventh thanks to a home run saving catch by Justin Ruggiano. Joel Peralta came out for the eighth for a marathon inning that typified the game. The Orioles put runners on first and third with one out. Peralta came up with a clutch strikeout of Mark Reynolds but then walked the next two hitters to force home the lead run.
The Orioles sent their closer Kevin Gregg to get the save in the ninth. Ben Zobrist tripled with one out. Gregg didn’t want anything to do with Matt Joyce and walked him intentionally/unintentionally. Longoria couldn’t play the hero as he popped up to the infield, but Kotchman came through with a single.
The game went into extras where again a Ben Zobrist double started a rally. Matt Joyce moved him along with a grounder and this time Longoria came through with a single to give the Rays the lead. Kotchman followed with an RBI double to give the Rays a 7-5 lead.
Kyle Farnsworth finished off the game as usual for his 14th save.
Player of the game: It’s not often when a game has this many offensive heroes. Zobrist set everything up by going 4 for 6 with three doubles and triple. Joyce went 0 for 5 but at least twice was obviously giving himself up to move the runner along. Longoria had three run scoring hits and Kotchman behind him contributed with four hits and two runs batted in.