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.
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 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.
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 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.