Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Homer off Wheeler spoils night of promise as Rays lose to Orioles

ST. PETERSBURG — After giving up a tying, three-run homer to Carlos Pena on Friday night, Orioles veteran reliever Jamie Walker said that if the southpaws met again Saturday, the result would be different.

Turns out, Walker was right. This time, Pena only hit a solo homer, which tied the score in the eighth.

Quipped Walker: "(Pena) is hitting like Babe Ruth off of me the past two nights."

But the real home run king Saturday night was Orioles catcher Ramon Hernandez, who hit a solo shot in the ninth off Dan Wheeler to lift the Orioles to a 3-2 victory in front of 19,295 at Tropicana Field, spoiling the much-anticipated debut of Rays prized prospect Evan Longoria.

Wheeler, who came in with two outs after strong relief work by lefties J.P. Howell and Trever Miller, grooved a 2-and-0 fastball over the middle that Hernandez drove into the leftfield seats.

"If you fall behind, bad things happen," Wheeler said.

There were, however, plenty of good things manager Joe Maddon took from the game.

Longoria, fresh off a late-night Friday flight from Durham, performed well in his first start at third base, recording his first hit — and RBI — with one swing in the sixth .

"It's one of many, hopefully," Longoria said.

Pitcher Jason Hammel delivered a second straight strong start, giving up just two runs in a career-high seven innings.

Said Pena: "He pitched his heart out."

But so did Orioles right-hander Daniel Cabrera, who continued to have the Rays' number. Cabrera, undefeated in 13 starts against the Rays, gave up one run in 62/3 innings, scattering five hits and striking out four. He's still 6-0 vs. the Rays, 3-0 at the Trop.

Hammel, a 25-year-old right-hander, did his part, giving the Rays (5-6) a chance to win. But like his first start in New York, Hammel got off to a somewhat shaky beginning. In the first inning, he gave up a leadoff double to Brian Roberts, then hit Melvin Mora before giving up a run when Nick Markakis hit into a double play.

In the second, Hammel again minimized the damage after Aubrey Huff doubled and Hernandez tripled him in to give the Orioles (7-4) a 2-0 lead.

"Control (the) first two innings," Hammel said. "I think we win the ballgame."

Hammel cruised through the next four, keeping the ball down and getting tough outs while allowing his defense to play well behind him. He helped his own cause in the fifth, dropping down and ducking a bit before making a nice stab on a Luis Hernandez liner. Pena, the hero of Friday's game with his bat (two homers, six RBIs), made the game's best defensive play, diving to his right to rob Orioles leftfielder Luke Scott of a potential double.

The Rays put together what could have been a big rally in the sixth. B.J. Upton led off with a walk, then moved to third on a single by Eric Hinske. That brought up Longoria, who delivered a single through the hole between third and short. The hit drew a smile from Longoria at first and sparked his mother, Ellie, to jump out of her seat in the family's third-floor suite.

But the rally would go no further as speedy rightfielder Nathan Haynes grounded into an inning-ending double play. Longoria finished 1-for-3, reaching on a walk and an error while making several plays in the field.

Longoria "played a nice first game," Maddon said. "Well done."

Orioles 3

Rays 2

Homer off Wheeler spoils night of promise as Rays lose to Orioles 04/12/08 [Last modified: Monday, April 14, 2008 12:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays journal: Jake Odorizzi goes on 10-day DL with back strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jake Odorizzi is hoping his struggles this season can be tied directly to the lower-back strain he has tried to pitch through since spring training. Toward that end, the Rays placed Odorizzi on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday retroactive to Tuesday.

    Rays center fielder Mallex Smith smiles after hitting a single advancing runners in the third inning. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  2. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with critical series at Yankees up first

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  3. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, July 22, 2017.
  4. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It is going to get interesting tonight when the Rays begin a four-game series against the Yankees in New York. The Rays feel they are good enough to win the East Division. These next four games and the four that follow in Houston will be a good measuring stick.

  5. Jones: Alex Cobb proves again why he's Rays' stopper, no matter how long he's here

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    If a team hopes to hang around the pennant race, they better have an ace. A stopper. A pitcher they can count on every fifth day to stop the bleeding, keep a winning streak going or flat-out win a game that a team flat-out needs to win.

    Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing the first inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]