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Winning Streak Ends In Extras As Rays Fall In Baltimore

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The longest head-to-head winning streak in Rays franchise history came to an end Friday night in Baltimore, as Tampa Bay blew leads of 3-0, 5-3, and 6-5 eventually losing to the Orioles by a score of 8-6 in 13 innings, snapping their streak of 15 consecutive head-to-head wins.

Tampa Bay got on the board in the top of the fifth, as Mike Zunino blasted a three-run homer off Orioles starter Tyler Wells that hit off the foul pole in left.  For Zunino, it was his fourth home run of the year, and came after Randy Arozarena led off the inniong with a base hit, moved to second on athrowing error by Jorge Mateo, and Isaac Paredes followed with a one-out walk.

Jalen Beeks worked the first two innings, allowing just one hit and a walk, and combined with Ryan Yarbrough to keep Baltimore off the scoreboard through the first six innings, but in the seventh, as he was trying to get through the order a second time, he allowed a leadoff double to Tyler Nevin and a base hit to Ramon Urias to put runners on the corners.  Kevin Cash went to Brooks Raley to try and get out of the inning, but he uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Nevin to score, and Arozarena botched a fly ball from Robinson Chirinos for a two-base error, plating Urias.  Raley then hit Chris Owings with a pitch but got Credric Mullins to fly out before being lefted for J.P. Feyereisen.  The right-hander struck out Austin Hays, but allowed his first inherited runner of the year to score as Trey Mancini brought in Chirinos with a base hit to tie the game.

The two sides would go to extra innings tied 3-3, but Tampa Bay scored twice in the top of the tenth on a RBI double by Brett Phillips and a base hit from Yandy Diaz off Bryan Baker to take a 5-3 advantage.

Cash asked Matt Wisler to try and get the final three outs in the bottom of the tenth, but he walked Hays and Mancini to load the bases, and Anthony Santander tied the game with a base hit.  But Wisler came back with the winning run at third base and got Mateo to ground out, and had Nevin ground into a fielder’s choice that erased pinch-runner Ryan McKenna at the plate, and would escape with the game tied.

Kevin Kiermaier’s one-out RBI single in the eleventh off Dillon Tate scored Brujan to make it 6-5, but Baltimore tied the game again in the bottom of the inning with Hays’ two-out, two-strike RBI single off Ryan Thompson.

Cash said after the game that he used Wisler and Thompson instead of Andrew Kittredge because the normal closer is dealing with a sore back, and he wanted to stay away from him.

Both sides put up zeroes in the 12th inning, and it appeared that Kiermaier had broken the tie int he top of the 13th, with his single to left bringing in Franco.  But replay showed Franco, who decided not to slide into home, was tagged on the right knee by catcher Anthony Bemboom just before his left foot touched the dish.

Franco said after the game that he did not slide because he felt a recurrence of tightness in his right quad.

Ralph Garza took over for Thompson in the bottom of the 13th, and after Urias sacrificed Nevin to third, Rougned Odor’s two-run homer ended the game.

The loss was Tampa Bay’s first against the Orioles since July 19, 2021, and the 15 straight games won over Baltimore was three more than the second-longest winning streak against a single team, also coming against the Orioles in 2008.

Tampa Bay will look to try and start a new head-to-head winning streak Saturday and even up this three-game series at Camden Yards.  Left-hander Jeffrey Springs (1-1, 1.66 ERA) will get the start, taking on Kyle Bradish (1-2, 5.06 ERA).  First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.

Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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