It was another night of missed opportunities for the Rays as they lost 6-2 to the Baltimore Orioles. With the Red Sox losing earlier in the day, the Rays had a chance to climb back to within three games of Boston in the AL wildcard chase. Instead they remain four back and head to Fenway for their final series of the season against the Red Sox and what might be their last chance to make up ground.
Jeremy Guthrie retired the first eight batters he faced and allowed just three hits in seven innings pitched. His only mistake was a fastball to Matt Joyce in the fourth that caught just a little too much of the plate. Joyce doubled in B.J. Upton and Ben Zobrist to give the Rays a 2-1 lead. Guthrie ended his night with 10 strikeouts including two in the seventh after the Rays had put the first two batters on base. It was their last gasp as they only had one base runner in the last two innings and that was Upton in the eighth. He was erased after Evan Longoria grounded into a double play. The Rays finished just 1-6 with runners in scoring position and the top five hitters in the lineup finished a combined 0-16.
The Orioles put up their six runs on ten hits. They scored all of their runs on the long ball. Nolan Reimold got it started in the third with a solo shot. Chris Davis turned a one run deficit into a two run lead with a three run homer in the fourth. Matt Wieters iced things with a two run shot off newly promoted Matt Moore in the eighth.
At the end of the year you can only hope we don’t look back and say this series was where things turned against the Rays. They had a chance if they had swept, to be heading to Boston only two games back, which would have really lowered the stress level of the series. Now, with four games at Fenway and seven of their last ten against the Yankees, the schedule definitely is stacked against Tampa.