What a frustrating Saturday night to have watched a ballgame.
The Orioles, after coming back against tough lefty David Price, saw Kevin Gregg blow yet another save and saw the Tampa Bay Rays defeat them in eleven innings, 7-5.
They are now 30-32 on the season and are seven games behind first-place Boston in the American League East. Their four-game win streak was snapped as well. The bullpen was ineffective on the night and imploded at times when the game mattered the most.
Jeremy Accardo could not keep the Rays to 5-5 tie in the eleventh inning. Evan Longoria’s RBI-single gave Tampa Bay a 6-5 lead, and then they added an insurance run off Casey Kotchman’s double.
Baltimore could not rally against closer Kyle Farnsworth, who earned his 14th save. Juan Cruz – who pitched 2/3 of an inning in the tenth – got the win.
For the Rays, Kotchman destroyed the Orioles with four hits and two runs driven in. Evan Longoria had three hits and drove in three runs.
The Orioles got an excellent night from the suddenly formidable Mark Reynolds, who hit two home runs off David Price. He drove in three, plus helped engineer Baltimore’s comeback with a solo shot in the sixth inning to give them a 4-3 lead.
Tampa Bay got back a run in the seventh inning off Kotchman’s single to tie the game at four; however, Baltimore took a 5-4 lead as Brandon Snyder plated in a run with a bases loaded walk in the eighth inning.
Then, the Rays tied the game in the ninth as the always-interesting Kevin Gregg gave up a critical triple to Ben Zobrist (Felix Pie had a read on the ball, dove for it, but could not make the play). Thereafter, Kotchman came through again with another RBI-single.
For the Orioles, Nick Markakis had two hits and Matt Wieters had three.
Jeremy Guthrie was decent on the mound as he gave up three runs in six innings. He gave up a run in the first, but cruised through his outing before giving up two more runs in the fifth.
The Rays’ David Price gave up four runs in six innings. The Orioles were stifled by him until Reynolds’ two-run homer in the fifth.
Despite the loss, Baltimore would grind it out against an extremely tough pitcher and a Tampa Bay team that has given them a lot of trouble. Tampa played some impressive defense against Baltimore as J.J. Hardy was robbed of a homer by Justin Ruggiano in the seventh inning, and Adam Jones was too denied an extra base hit by B.J. Upton in the first.
Baseball games can be determined by a matter of inches, and Saturday was proof of that.