Rays Watch Lead Evaporate In 9th, Fall To Angels 6-5

Mike Trout’s First Career Walk Off Hit Sends Rays To Defeat

In his first two seasons in the big leagues Mike Trout has accomplished more than a lot of players will in their career but a walk off hit was not part of his resume until last night.


The Rays built and protected a 5-2 lead as the game entered the ninth inning. Grant Balfour who had looked very sharp in saving his seventh game of the season against Seattle on Thursday afternoon entered the game.

He jumped ahead a ball and two strikes to the Angels number eight hitter Hank Conger but was unable to put him away and eventually issued the dreaded leadoff walk.

Even worse he got off to an two-strike count on  number nine hitter Efren Navarro before delivering four straight balls to bring the tying run to the plate with nobody out.

Collin Cowgill was down in the count a ball and two strikes but evened the count and then slapped a single to Wil Myers in right field to plate Conger and cut the Rays lead to 5-3.

Joe Maddon had seen enough of Balfour and summoned Brad Boxberger from the bullpen to face the always dangerous Mike Trout.

Boxberger delivered three straight changeups and the last one was deposited over the left field wall to give the Angels the 6-5 victory.

The loss drops the Rays to 18-24 on the season and with the win the Angels improve to 22-18.

The Rays gave him an early 1-0 lead on a two-out single by Brandon Guyer to drive in James Loney in the second inning.

The lead was extended in the sixth inning on a Wil Myers double that deflected off third baseman Luis Jimenez to score Logan Forsythe who had singled to lead off the inning and moved Evan Longoria who had walked over to third base.

Angels starter Tyler Skaggs got Sean Rodriguez to pop out to shallow center field for the first out but James Loney picked him up with a single to right field to score both Myers and Longoria to put the Rays up 4-0.

Erik Bedard started for the Rays and once again played the role of crafty veteran lefty as he held the Angels off the board through the first five innings.

With two outs in the sixth inning he gave up back to back singles to Howie Kendrick and C.J. Cron to put runners at the corner with two out.

He appeared to get out of yet another jam when Erik Aybar sent a routine grounder to the normally reliable James Loney at first who allowed the ball to slip under his glove and Kendrick crossed home plate for the Angels first run. It was the first run allowed by Rays pitching in 23-innings and it was an unearned run.

Bedard was lifted from the game for Brandon Gomes and Angels Manager Mike Scioscia countered by pinch hitting the left-handed veteran Raul Ibanez who delivered an opposite field single to drive in Cron for the Halos second run. Jake McGee came in to the game and struck out Grant Green to end the inning and the Rays kept a 4-2 lead.

The Rays received a response run on a solo home run by Brandon Guyer to lead off the top  of the seventh to push the Rays lead to 5-2.

McGee stayed in work the bottom of the seventh and after recording two outs he was lifted for Joel Peralta who got the final out of the inning and worked a scoreless eighth to turn the ball over to Balfour with the lead in the ninth.

The loss goes to Brad Boxberger (0-1, 2.53 ERA) and the win goes to Fernando Salas (3-0, 3.38 ERA).

The positives to take away from the game were that Erik Bedard once again had a solid outing delivering 5.2 innings without allowing an earned run as both his runs were unearned after the Loney error.

Joel Peralta looked more like his old self with the ball dipping and diving through the strike zone and less like the straight-arrow guy we’ve seen most of the season.

Brandon Guyer who has had little playing time this year had a RBI single and solo homer as well as making an outstanding diving catch in the outfield.

The Rays will attempt to dust themselves off and come back with a solid effort tonight. Chris Archer (2-2, 5.65 ERA) will take on Jered Weaver (4-2, 3.22 ERA) at 10:05.

I am a fan of all sports but am most passionate about baseball. From the fanatical to analytical, nothing about the game escapes me. Being born and raised in Northeast Ohio I'm very familiar with the heartache and pain that sports can bring and hope that I bring some understanding of the other side to my coverage. I will focus mostly on baseball but also cover the Tampa Bay Lightning, one of the most electric franchises in all of sports. Always willing to converse about any sport and have only one rule and that is be respectful at all times.