This has been a crazy season for the Tampa Bay Rays. If you had told me prior to the season that Cesar Ramos would be one of the most, if not the most, reliable starter in the Rays’ rotation, I probably would have just laughed. But that’s what it has come to, and Ramos once again was solid against the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night, going 5.2 innings and giving up two runs on three hits. But, the Rays could not overcome a trio of Orioles home runs, and they would lose 4-3 to drop to 15-19 on the season.
Ramos’ stuff and command was as crisp as it has been all season, which led to him striking out four batters and walking just two. He was also efficient, and it would take him just 72 pitches to throw his 5.2 innings. The way Ramos was pitching, he could have pitched at least another full inning. But, Adam Jones had previously hit two solo home runs off of Ramos in the game, and rather than let Ramos pitch to Jones a third time Joe Maddon elected to bring Brandon Gomes into the game with two outs in the 6th.
Gomes would get Jones out on one pitch, but when he came back on for the 7th he would not be so fortunate. He allowed a single to Steve Pearce with one out, and then Jonathan Schoop smacked a two-run home run to make it 4-2 at that point. Jake McGee, the Rays’ most reliable reliever so far this year, came on to lock down the 8th inning, and did so in 1-2-3 fashion. He even threw a rare curveball to Nick Markakis, though it was up and out of the zone. Josh Lueke finished things off for the Rays with a scoreless 9th inning. Even when Lueke doesn’t allow runs, he makes things interesting, and that was the case when he allowed a pair of singles in this game. McGee and Lueke both did their jobs, but Gomes’ mistake cost the Rays dearly.
The Rays got behind 2-0, but they started to chip away at the lead when David DeJesus hit his third homer of the season, a solo shot in the bottom of the 5th inning. DeJesus has finally started to hit after an early season cold streak, and the Rays are a much better club because of it. The offense came back again in the 6th to tie things up 2-2 after Sean Rodriguez, who was pinch-hitting against left-hander Brian Matusz, ripped a single that scored James Loney. The Rays would add a third run in the 9th inning after Wil Myers led off the inning with a double and was later driven in by a Ryan Hanigan single. But, the Rays would leave runners on first and third, and the game ended 4-3.
The seven hits and four walks drawn by the Rays was not awful, but they could have used just a bit more to pull out of this game with the win. Wil Myers led the way with a 2-4 performance in which he smacked a double. David DeJesus went 1-2 with a home run to also add some production. On a more sour note, Ben Zobrist went 0-4 to continue a recent cold streak. It could have been worse for the Rays offense, but this is a game that you would like to see them go the extra mile to take a win from the Orioles.
The Rays and Orioles are back at it tomorrow for game 3 at 7:10 ET, with David Price and Ubaldo Jimenez taking the mound. Be sure to check back at Rays Colored Glasses throughout the day for all the Rays analysis that you need.