Jerry Sands Pinch Hit Homer Propels Rays To 5-4 Victory
Jerry Sands Pinch Hit Homer LiftsRays To 5-4 Victory
It was Sands second pinch hit go ahead hit in as many daysthis one leading tothe Rays first victory over the Baltimore Orioles after losing the first five meetings this season.
With the game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth and Evan Longoria at first base with two out Sean Rodriguez was due up against right hander Darren O'Day(2-1, 1.52 ERA) but Joe Maddon went to his bench and selectedDavid DeJesus to pinch hit. Orioles manger Buck Showalter responded by bringing in the southpaw Brian Matusz.
Rather than allow the lefty DeJesus to face Matusz Maddon called DeJesus back and sent right handed batterJerry Sandsto face the lefty Matusz. The move paid off as Sands connected 2-0 fastball for the big pinch hit home run to put the Rays up 5-3.
Sands home run made a winner out of Jake McGee (3-0, 1.44 ERA). Juan Carlos Oviedo came in to work the ninth inningand gave up a solo homer to Delmon Young but was able to close it out andpick up his first save since September 17, 2011.
The Rays enjoyed an early lead thanks to a solo home run by Yunel Escobar in the bottomof the first. The lead was extended to 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning on a 2-out 2-run homer by Ryan Hanigan.
The Orioles were unable to break through against Jake Odorizzi through the first five innings but as has been the problem for much of the season Odorizzi struggled the third time through the lineup.
Brad Boxberger came in to retire the final two hitters and Joel Peralta worked a scoreless eighth. With the Rays clinging to a 1-run lead they turned to Grant Balfour to work the eighth inning and he allowed back to back singles to Nick Markakis and Manny Machado before retiring Adam Jones on a fly out to right.
Jake McGee came in to face Chris Davis who drew a walk to load the bases for Nelson Cruz. Cruz pounded a ball in front of the plate that bounded to Evan Longoria who could only hold the ball and watch the game tying run cross the plate and the bases remained loaded.
It was only the second of 21 inherited runners that McGee had allowed to score all year but he would not allow any more runs to cross home plate by striking out J.J. Hardy and retiring Steve Pearce on a fielders choice.
The Rays took a 5-3 lead on a Jerry Sands 2-out 2-RBI pinch hit home run in the bottom of the eighth inning off Brian Matusz.
The Orioles cut the lead to 5-4 in the ninth on a pinch hit solo home run by Delmon Young off of Juan Carlos Oviedo to cut the lead to 5-4 but Oviedo protected the lead and picked up his first save on the year.