Orioles 9, RAYS 2 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Backup Middle Infielders. Thank goodness for Ryan Roberts and Elliot Johnson, two guys that probably shouldn’t even step out of the dugout while the game is being played. Without those two players hitting home runs, the Rays would have been shutout with just 3 hits.
THE BAD: One of those Nights. It started with Matt Joyce playing a bloop single into a runner scoring from first base. It continued with Matt Moore unable to find a rhythm and get batters out. Moore faced 19 batters. Of those, 12 at bats lasted at least 5 pitches, including 9 of the final 10 batters he faced. The result was a blowout loss in which the Rays took a gigantic dump on the Camden Yards grass…It’s Getting Late. This loss shows just how important these head-to-head games are, and just how big a 2-game lead can be with just 21 games to go. The loss was a full 2-game swing. Instead of being tied, the Rays are now 2 games behind in the Wild Card. If both the Yankees and Orioles win just 11 of their final 21 (11-10), the Rays will have to go 13-8 just to tie. That means the Rays can’t afford to lose another game in this series.
THE TELLING: Of BJ Upton’s 21 home runs, 18 (85.7%) have been solo shots. That is the highest rate of solo home runs in baseball (min. 20 HR)…BJ Upton and James Shields were named Co-AL players of the week…Sean Rodriguez is expected to be activated on Saturday, but will be limited to pinch-running and defense…Desmond Jennings is expected to be back in the lineup tonight.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- The wife of the Rays’ triple-A pitching coach passed away over the weekend. [TheHeater] Also, Dave Wills was not calling the game last night as he took a leave to be with his mother who is battling cancer. Our thoughts go out to both families.
- Here is the Rays 2013 schedule, which includes a trip to Dodger Stadium. [TBO.com]
- Matt Moore spoke about his efforts to stop tipping pitches. [TampaBay.com]
- Joe Maddon congratulated Greg Schiano on his first win with the Bucs. [JoeBucsFan]
- For some more Boston Red Sox schadenfreude, here is Bobby Valentine screaming at Jon Lester on the mound last night. We had to add the audio. [RI Videos]
- Derek Holland chatted with Evan Longoria about why the Rays third baseman hits Holland so well. [DallasNews]
- Here’s a closer look at just how great Fernando Rodney has been this season. [CBSSports.com]
- Manny Ramirez has become quite religious in retirement, but occasionally misses the game. [USA Today]
- Remember when it was common to see NFL games played on MLB infields? [BI Sports]
- Here is how much it costs to drink a beer at every NFL stadium. [BI Sports]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
DURHAM. season completed
MONTGOMERY. season completed
CHARLOTTE. season completed
BOWLING GREEN. season completed
Tri-City 5, HUDSON VALLEY 4. (Hudson Valley trails championship series 1-0) 3B Richie Shaffer was 0-5 with a strikeout…C Luke Maile and SS Leonardo Reginatto both homered.
PRINCETON. season completed