James Loney‘s walk off home run Monday afternoon allowed the Rays to complete a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles and win the game 5-4.
Leading off the bottom of the order in the ninth inning, Loney was put into the game as a pinch-hitter for Sean Rodriguez to face Orioles’ reliever Tommy Hunter. Loney’s solo shot to right field was his 13th home run and the Rays’ 13th walk off win of the season.
The Rays’ offensive was the first to strike on Monday as Wil Myers scored off of Tim Beckham‘s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the second inning, but they were slow to keep up with the Orioles’ explosive bats.
The seventh inning was an influential inning for the Rays, who were down 2-4 to Baltimore. With the bases loaded, Myers stepped up to bat and hit a single to right field. The Rays were able to score two runs and tie the game off of Myers’ single, after Orioles second baseman Alexi Casilla and outfielderNick Markakis collided while both trying to make the catch in right field.
Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer took the mound, only to struggle during his outing. He began strong, striking out four batters in the first three innings. However, Archer turned shaky in the fourth inning, giving up a two-run homer to Chris Davis and a RBI single to J.J. Hardy. Joe Maddon pulled Archer out of the game in the following inning after Brian Roberts hit a solo shot off of him.
The Rays used six relievers in Monday’s game, including Jake McGee, who was given the win. Archer gave up five hits and four runs, while throwing seven strikeouts in 4.1 innings. McGee gave up two hits, issued one walk, and had one strikeout during the seventh inning. Overall, the Rays pitching staff had 12 strikeouts and gave up 10 hits to the Orioles.
Baltimore’s starting pitcher, Wei-Yin Chen also lasted only 4.1 innings, giving up 6 hits and throwing four strikeouts. The Orioles used five relievers and had six strikeouts total.
INJURY: During the top of the seventh inning, the Orioles’ Manny Machado left the field on a stretcher after injuring his knee while running past first base. Machado stepped on the base with the outside part of his foot, only to fall and twist his leg, hurting his knee.
WILD CARD STANDINGS: The Rays are now in first place in the AL Wild Card standings. The Cleveland Indians trail the Rays by one game, but the Indians have Monday off. The Texas Rangers are 2.5 games behind the Rays in the standings and play the Houston Astros tonight.