Rays 5, Orioles 4: Enter The Yu Chang

It’s not everyday that a team gets to end another team’s 10-game winning streak. Today was that day as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-4.

The Orioles were a fun story watching them aspire to climb out of the basement of the AL East. At least for one night, they are reminded of where they fall in the rank and file of the best division in baseball.

Luis Patino started for the Rays after being reinstated from the 60-day IL from a left oblique strain. Things got off to a shaky start as Patino found himself with the bases loaded in the first inning after walking Ryan Mountcastle and hitting Austin Hays with a pitch with two outs. He was able to get out of the inning thanks to Yandy Diaz fielding a popup from Adley Rutschman in foul territory.

The Orioles offense took better advantage of their opportunities in the third inning as Trey Mancini hit a solo home run (90.9 EV, 29 LA, 355 ft) to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead.

Tyler Wells was the Orioles starter and he got off to an efficient start. He made light work of the Rays in the first two innings only allowing a single in each before the pressure built in the third.

Harold Ramirez hit a double following a Diaz walk to give the Rays runners on second and third with one out. Wells clearly isn’t intending to be a rideshare as he ensured those runners were stranded by striking out Ji-Man Choi and getting Randy Arozarena to line out to right field and maintain the 1-0 lead for the Orioles.

Patino’s low pitch count allowed him to be on the mound in the fourth inning, although he did not remain long. Ramon Urias launched a solo home run (100.9 EV, 25 LA, 400 ft) to make it a 2-0 lead for the Orioles and ending Patino’s night with Shawn Armstrong entering the game. Patino finished with 3.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 HR on 55 pitches. After all the injuries this team has endured, it is a good sign for some guys to start coming back.

It’s always a nice feeling when recently acquired players make an impact. Yu Chang put the Rays on the board with an RBI-double scoring Isaac Paredes to trim the Orioles lead to 2-1.

The Orioles once again loaded the bases in the fifth inning with two outs and Rutschman at the plate. Just like in the first inning Rutschman failed to bring anyone home as he was called out on strikes allowing Armstrong to get out of the inning clean.

The real story of this game was the bottom of the sixth inning. Wells got two quick outs with an Arozarena flyout and Paredes ground out but the Rays still had plenty of fight left in them. Josh Lowe got the offense ignited with the first of what became back-to-back-to-back doubles. Chang’s double was his second RBI of the game and scored Lowe while also ending Wells’ night. Cionel Perez came in and picked up where Wells left off allowing an RBI-double to Francisco Mejia that gave the Rays the lead. What happened next was as improbable as it was entertaining

Recent acquisition, Christian Bethancourt hit a high fly ball to left field that had an xBA of .060 and appeared to go over the Crawford’s Corner and land in 162 Landing as a home run. Anthony Santander was charging in the direction of the ball and was in position to make a plan on it and didn’t, though, I assume he made a business decision on whether tumbling into the party area was worth making the play and decided it wasn’t It’s not worth it. After replay review, the HR (99.0 EV, 44 LA, 318 ft) was confirmed and the Rays lead was extended to 5-2.

Ryan Thompson retired the Orioles in order in the seventh inning continuing his impressive streak of outings.

Things got interesting again in the top of the seventh with Colin Poche on the mound starting with giving up a leadoff double to Austin Hays. Two batters later Urias hit his second home run of the game to trim the Rays lead to 5-4.

Brooks Raley pitched the ninth inning and Chang helped ensure the Rays would be victorious fielding pop outs from Cedric Mullins and Mancini for the first two outs and then a lineout from Santander to end the game.

These two teams are back at it tomorrow with first pitch at 7:10pm for the Wander Franco bobblehead and NFT night.

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