After their very successful road trip, the Rays came home to face a very good National League Central team and just came out absolutely flat in almost every facet of the game.
The Reds came up with two quick runs in the first. The big blow was an RBI double by Brandon Phillips that just eluded B.J. Upton‘s glove right up against the center field wall. Former Ray Jonny Gomes (still sporting his Rayhawk) added to it with a home run in the fourth. All in all, Jeremy Hellickson really struggled to get through six innings.
Two Rays’ errors set up the fourth and fifth Cincinnati runs. An error by Longoria (which would have been the third out in the fourth) kept the inning going and Phillips again drove home a run. With Cesar Ramos on the ropes in the seventh, Ben Zobrist had a ball go right through his legs on a potential double play ball.
On offense, the Rays managed six hits, four of which were doubles. In the sixth, Ben Zobrist hit his second double of the game which was followed by an Evan Longoria walk. Matthew Joyce came up and lined a ball hard to the gap in left center. Zobrist saw that Fred Lewis was going to catch the ball and headed back to second to tag up, but Longoria must have thought the ball was going to get through and ran right by Zobrist. It’s a play you won’t see but a few times a year but it typified the type of game the Rays had.
It wasn’t until the eighth that the fans at the Trop started to see some Rays baseball. Drew Stubbs walked to lead off the frame and was attempting to steal when a ball was grounded to third. Stubbs got greedy and tried to take third but a great throw by Casey Kotchman and slick catch by Reid Brignac nailed him. On the next play, Sam Fuld made another “Did you see that?” catch.
It was a little too little, too late though.
W: Mike Leake (7-4) 3.89 ERA
L: Jeremy Hellickson (7-7) 3.18 ERA
Player of the Game: Brandon Phillips–4 for 5 with two runs batted in and two runs scored