Longoria’s Error Proves Costly in 5-4 Loss to O’s

The Rays dropped their fourth straight game Tuesday night, falling to Baltimore by a score of 5-4. Tampa Bay finally got some home run power, but their offense continued to struggle as they only compiled six hits and left 11 men on base.

On the mound for the Orioles was Jake Arrieta, who the Rays had historically been successful against.

Desmond Jennings belted the first pitch of the ballgame for a homer, but the Rays wouldn’t score any more off Arrieta in his five innings pitched, despite drawing five walks. It would all go downhill from there for Tampa.

Starting for the Rays was Roberto Hernandez. Hernandez had trouble early and it would take him a while to settle in, as he allowed one run in each of the first three innings.

He only lasted 5.1 innings, but actually pitched pretty well. His sinkerball was working great last night, as he enticed eight groundballs to just one flyball (home run). The rest of Hernandez’s stuff was quite sharp as well, and he ended the evening with seven strikeouts.

After the first three innings, there wasn’t much action in this game until the bottom of the sixth. Ahead 3-1 already, the O’s loaded the bases with nobody out. Following a Matt Wieters strikeout, a J.J. Hardy groundball to Evan Longoria would end up being the biggest play of the game. Longoria fielded the ball cleanly and then fired to home for the force, but threw the ball too much to the side, allowing everyone to reach safely.

Longo’s error would end Hernandez’s night, and would cost team two unearned runs. Jamey Wright came on to clean up the mess, doing a fine job of that.. Baltimore would make it a 5-1 game via a Ryan Flaherty RBI groundout, but Wright would put an end to their rally.

The Rays wouldn’t respond until the eighth, but would definitely give the Orioles a scare. A opposite field homer by Kelly Johnson would start off the big inning against right-hander Pedro Strop. The next batter was Ben Zobrist, who walked, and then Longoria followed with a line drive two-run blast to left-center.

Down by only a run, the Rays weren’t able to muster another rally after that, and the game would end 5-4.

It’s been a real tough road trip for the Rays, who are now 4-9 on the year. The defense, which is one of team’s fortes—and seemed like their strongest one in the first week of the season—has began to falter lately along with the rest of the team.

The Rays take on the O’s again tonight for Game 2 of this three-game set. Matt Moore (2-0, 0.00 ERA) will square off against right-hander Chris Tillman (0-0, 7.00 ERA); first pitch at 7:05 ET.

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