Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bullpen falters again as Rays lose to Orioles

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays reliever Brandon Gomes said other than one pitch Wednesday night, he did everything exactly how he wanted.

But Gomes, one strike away from getting out of the seventh inning in a tie game, didn't get his 0-and-2 fastball in or up quite enough, and Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop made him pay with a two-run homer that proved the difference in the Rays' 4-3 loss in front of 11,282 at Tropicana Field.

"One mistake," Gomes said. "And in this division, that's it. It's a game of inches."

It was the second straight deflating defeat for last-place Tampa Bay (15-19), which battled back to tie it late only to have the first-place Orioles (17-14) go ahead for good in their next at-bat. The Rays again made it interesting in the ninth against closer Tommy Hunter, racking up three hits and a run and putting the tying run 90 feet away, to no avail.

"Garbage can losses, that one was a little more difficult," manager Joe Maddon said. "Because really, it was all set up right."

The Rays did take a significant positive out of Wednesday's game, as left-hander Cesar Ramos delivered his best start of the season, effectively and efficiently going a career-high 52/3 innings on just 72 pitches. "He couldn't have pitched any better," centerfielder Desmond Jennings said. "He was great."

Ramos gave up two runs on three hits, with Orioles centerfielder Adam Jones ripping both pitches he saw from him a combined 846 feet, both off the batter's eye for homers. "The two fastballs I left down the middle to Jones, he definitely didn't miss them," Ramos said.

So when Jones came up with two outs in the sixth, Maddon gave Ramos an early hook, bringing in Gomes.

"Didn't want to keep pressing our luck there," Maddon said.

Ramos was "definitely" disappointed to get pulled but felt good about his outing, keeping his two-seam fastball down and mixing in his changeup to hold an aggressive and potent Orioles lineup in check. Ramos, who threw a career-high 95 pitches in his last start, has a 1.69 ERA over his past five appearances.

"He was really good," Maddon said. "His confidence keeps getting better. He pitched really well enough for us to win, obviously. He's getting better every time out."

The Rays defense, led by shortstop Yunel Escobar, was dazzling, but their margin for error was small thanks to their offense, with the 1-through-5 hitters going 1-for-15. David DeJesus brought Tampa Bay within one on a solo homer in the fifth, and Sean Rodriguez tied it with a pinch-hit RBI single in the sixth. Tampa Bay had runners on the corners with one out in the ninth, but Ben Zobrist and Jennings each lined out to end the game.

The Orioles have now beaten the Rays in all four meetings this season heading into today's series finale.

"We kept battling, fighting," said Jennings, who went 0-for-5. "We fought to get back into the game, we gave ourselves a chance in the end. Just didn't get it done."

Joe Smith can be reached at

Bullpen falters again as Rays lose to Orioles 05/07/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 11:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Matt Baker's AP Top 25 college football ballot


    Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher still thinks he can have a good team. Maybe he's right.

  2. My AP Top 25 ballot: FSU out, USF, Florida Gators back in


    Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher still thinks he can have a good team, as I wrote in today's Tampa Bay Times. Maybe he's right.

  3. Road to Atlanta, Week 4



    Central Florida defensive lineman Tony Guerad (93) gestures in front of teammate Jamiyus Pittman, right, and Maryland offensive lineman Damian Prince, left, after tackling Maryland running back Ty Johnson and forcing a punt on fourth down in the first half of an NCAA college football game in College Park, Md., Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) MDPS104
  4. Trump tweets and NFL response escalate drama of Sunday games


    The owners of the Baltimore Ravens, the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and other teams on Sunday joined a chorus of NFL executives criticizing President Donald Trump's suggestion that they fire players who kneel for the national anthem.

    President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. [Associated Press]
  5. New Rowdie Hunter Gorskie nets game's lone goal


    ST. PETERSBURG — Hunter Gorskie enjoyed a smashing Tampa Bay debut, scoring the lone goal and getting in one of many crucial second-half clearances as the Rowdies held off visiting Charlotte 1-0 before an announced 7,786 at Al Lang Stadium.

    The Tampa Bay Rowdies Hunter Gorskie (27) celebrates a first half goal against the Charlotte Independence at Al Lang Field Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 in St. Petersburg. Photo by Matt May/Tampa Bay Rowdies