Tommy Romero will probably remember his major league debut as memorable, but for the wrong reasons, as the rookie right-hander failed to get out of the second inning, and it took the Tampa Bay Rays bullpen and bats to rally not once but twice to pull out a 9-8 10-inning win over the Oakland Athletics.
Romero, who had around 25 family members and friends in attendance for his major league debut, found out just how much of a difference it is going from the minors to the big leagues, as he walked both Tony Kemp and Elvis Andrus on close pitches to begin the game, prompting an early visit from pitching coach Kyle Snyder. And on the very next pitch, Jed Lowrie unloaded a three-run homer in to the seats in right, his first home run of 2022.
“That’s a tough spot for any your first start in the big leagues, but that’s the way it goes sometimes,” manager Kevin Cash said. “I told him after the game that there’s probably — and not discrediting any umpires in Triple-A — but there’s probably some pitches that he’s accustomed to seeing called strikes that he didn’t get [tonight.]”
The 24-year-old ended up walking three in the first and two more in the second before being relieved with two away in the top of the second.
But Athletics’ starter Adam Oller, also making his major league debut, fared no better, as he gave up a leadoff home run to Brandon Lowe in the bottom of the first and four more runs in the second, capped by Ji-Man Choi‘s three-run homer, that game the Rays a 5-3 lead.
Brett Phillips made it 6-3 leading off the third with his first homer of the year, a blast that landed on the C ring catwalk in right.
Matt Wisler allowed an unearned run in the sixth when Brandon Lowe made a poor throw home on a base hit by Stephen Piscotty, but the Rays got that run back in the bottom of the sixth on a fielder’s choice by Randy Arozarena.
Ralph Garza Jr, called up Tuesday when JT Chargois was placed on the injured list with oblique tightness, ended up having the longest outing of any pitcher on either side Tuesday, pitching three innings. But he allowed Oakland to tie the game in the seventh thanks to a RBI single by Seth Brown and a two-run double by Chad Pinder.
The game remained tied until the tenth, when Billy McKinney‘s RBI single off Ryan Thompson scored Pinder, who started the inning on second base. McKinney was thrown out at second base trying to stretch the hit into a double, and Thompson ended up retiring the next two batters in order to keep the game at 8-7.
Wander Franco‘s double off A’s closer Lou Trivino leading off the home half of the tenth, scored Brandon Lowe to tie the game, and after Yandy Diaz struck out and Arozarena popped out, Josh Lowe was intentionally walked to face Manuel Margot, who needed just one pitch to single in Franco to end the game.
The Rays will look for a secnd consecutive win over the Athletics Wednesday, when Shane McClanahan (0-0, 0.00 ERA) gets the start, taking on Frankie Montas (0-1, 9.00 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 6:40.