Rays knocked out of first place by Orioles

by Gary Shelton on July 21, 2023

in general

Mejia couldn't hold onto the ball at the plate./TIM WIRT

Friday, 4 a.m.

Say hello to the second-place Tampa Bay Rays.

After 99 days in first place, including a 6 1/2-game lead on July 1, the Rays are finally looking up at someone. else. The Rays lost their fifth straight game, 4-3 to Baltimore in 10 innings, and for the 12th time in their last 15.

The Rays failed in all the big moments Thursday night. They were just two-of-14 with runners in scoring

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Cash can't figure out slide./TIM WIRT

position. They failed to make a cutaway pitch to Colton Cowser in the 10th. They made a sloppy defensive play to let Gunnar Henderson turn a double into a triple. They dropped a ball while tagging out a runner at the plate.

And they lost.


The Rays continue to struggle. One thing that is hurting them are the performances of their stars.

For instance, Randy Arozarena had a dreadful night. At the plate, he was 0-for-5 with a double play and four strikeouts. His average in July fell to .212. Three times, he failed to get home a runner in scoring position.

Wander Franco was a little better, going two-for-five. But even with that, his July average is .204.

One star who isn't struggling is Yandy Diaz, who had a. two-run double in the seventh to tie the game at 3.

The Rays had fallen behind with a disastrous fourth inning, in which the Orioles got four hits, a sacrifice fly, a wild pitch and an error (originally scored as two errors, but the second was ruled to be a mental gaffe.

The Rays and Orioles play again at 6:40 p.m. at Tropicana Field tonight. Zach Eflin will start for the Rays against Kyle Bradish.

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