The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Baltimore Orioles 3-1 to win their third game in a row. Brandon Gomes picked up the win to improve to 3-1 with a 6.23 ERA and Fernando Rodney picked up his 36 save on the year. Scott Feldman pitched well but took the loss dropping to 5-5 with a 3.57 ERA.
The Rays lead the wild card by 2 full games over the Texas Rangers who were defeated by the Kansas City Royals 4-0 on a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 10th inning.
They maintain a 0.5 game lead on the Cleveland Indians who completed their 4-game sweep over the Houston Astros. It was the Indians 6th 4-game sweep on the year which hasn’t been done by any team since the 1961 New York Yankees.
Enny Romero gave up a lead off single to Manny Machado but didn’t allow another hit during his 4.2 innings of work. Prior to the game Joe Maddon said that he’d expect walks from Romero but like Matt Moore he thought he wouldn’t give up a lot of hits. It was a matter of the defense making the plays behind him.
Romero made 70 pitches on the day with 38 for strikes. According to Brooksbaseball.net he threw a total of 58 fastballs out of his 70 pitches. A total of 49 were four seam fastballs at an average velocity of 93.53 mph (maximum velocity of 96.79) and nine were 2-seam fastballs averaging 93.22 mph (maximum velocity of 94.79 mph).
Romero left the game after Kelly Johnson made a 2-out error to put runners at 1st and 2nd with 2-outs. Brandon Gomes came in to face Manny Machado and he struck him out to end the inning.
In the 6th inning the Rays used 3 pitchers to record 3 strike outs. Brandon Gomes started t he inning by striking out Adam Jones. Lefty Wesley Wright came in to face the left handed bat of Chris Davis and struck him out. Jamey Wright came replaced Wesley Wright and struck out the right handed hitting Danny Valencia.
The Rays added to their lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Desmond Jennings led the inning off with a bunt single. After reaching first base he was removed from the game with some sort of leg ailment.
Sam Fuld came in to take his place with Ben Zobrist batting. Zobrist ran the count to 3-2 before swinging at a ball in the dirt that Matt Wieters couldn’t handle. Zobrist motored safely to first and Fuld who was off with the pitch advanced to 3rd. Matt Joyce brought Fuld home with a sacrifice fly to left field.
Zobrist moved into scoring position by stealing second base and advanced to third on a single by Wil Myers. James Loney followed Myers single with one of his own plating Zobrist and the Rays had a 3-0 lead.
Jamey Wright worked a scoreless 7th inning and Joel Peralta followed with a scoreless 8th.
Fernando Rodney was called upon to protect the 3-0 lead and had to face the heart of the Orioles order. He retired Adam Jones on a groundball to first and struck out Chris David before allowing a seeing eye single to Danny Valencia. Matt Wieters followed with a fly ball to right that appeared to hit something falling fro an RBI double.
J.J. Hardy representing the tying run flew out to David DeJesus in center field to give the Rays the 3-1 victory.