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)

Tampa Bay Rays lose 9-2 to Baltimore Orioles to fall further back in wild-card race

BALTIMORE — Rays manager Joe Maddon spoke glowingly before the game about the upstart Orioles, praising them for — his words — their attitude, tenacity, unwillingness to be denied.

And while the Orioles showed all of that in the opening game of an unexpectedly critical series, the Rays didn't show any in losing 9-2.

"We just did not play well at all," Maddon said. "We just had a bad day."

As pivotal as the six-game road trip to Baltimore and New York is for their postseason hopes, as much as the players, Ryan Roberts said, acknowledged, "it's the playoffs right now," the Rays came out looking flat, and stayed that way.

They managed only one hit through the first five innings and five total, despite O's starter Jason Hammel leaving in the fourth with a knee injury. Rookie lefty Matt Moore wasn't sharp and pitched his way out of the game after just four innings — and 94 pitches. And rightfielder Matt Joyce made a costly first-inning error on a somewhat routine sequence to put them in an early hole, and a funk, they never escaped.

"Definitely," Maddon said. "We played like that the rest of the night."

Adding to their woes, Roberts left the game shortly after bending his wrist awkwardly on a play at second in the sixth inning, resulting in a left forearm strain that, with the X-rays negative, he hopes won't keep him out long.

The loss — their first by more than two runs in more than a month — dropped the Rays to 77-64 and two games behind the Orioles, who tied the Yankees for the American League East lead, as well as the second wild-card spot.

Given how well the Rays played last week, taking two of three from the Yankees and Rangers, and with a day off before facing the O's, such an uninspired effort would seem a bit surprising — and disappointing.

"Either that, or it's understandable, one of the two," Maddon said. "The fact that you played with such intensity the last week at home, a lot of high-pressure games, did really well, take a day off, come up here — maybe you lose a little bit of that edge. …

"I want to believe we're not that group. I want to believe we're going to come out with the correct edge. We need to do that (tonight). These guys, like I said, are not going away. They're playing with a lot of conviction, and we have to match it."

There was some concern coming into the game that Moore was tipping his pitches by tapping his glove. He seemed to address that by keeping his left hand in his glove throughout his windup, but the results were not good. He said he was thinking about it "at times," but blamed an overall lack of command more.

"A click below what he normally looks like," Maddon said.

Joyce's error on Matt Wieters' two-out blooper to right was damning. He couldn't catch it, then over-ran it, then hesitated before throwing as he didn't immediately see that Adam Jones was coming around to score from first.

"He didn't understand totally the gravity of the moment," Maddon said. "He did not process the whole play."

Joyce said the ground was wet, and the ball didn't bounce as he thought it would, and he initially was concerned with keeping Wieters from going to second.

"Just a bad play," Joyce said. "Can't happen."

Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@tampabay.com.

Orioles 9

Rays 2

Tampa Bay Rays lose 9-2 to Baltimore Orioles to fall further back in wild-card race 09/11/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 7:32am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays add a bat, too, acquiring Lucas Duda from Mets

    Blogs

    The Rays made another big move today, acquiring 1B/DH Lucas Duda from the Mets.

    Duda, 31, is a lefty slugger who will take over as the Rays primary DH against right-handers, with Corey Dickerson now playing most of the time in the outfield.

    To get Duda, the Rays gave up minor-league RHP Drew Smith, …

    The Rays acquired 1B/DH Lucas Duda from the Mets.
  2. Bucs do their best to stiff-arm the expectations

    Bucs

    TAMPA — If you want to see a team giving the Heisman trophy stiff-arm to expectations, check out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    As always, the key to the Bucs success will be Jameis Winston. He still is only 23, but a charismatic leader that this team and this town believes deeply in. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  3. A trip down memory lane of Bucs' preseason expectations

    Bucs

    With HBO's Hard Knocks in town and the Bucs opening training camp Friday with their highest expectations in a decade, here's a look back at Tampa Bay's preseason expectations since their last playoff appearance in 2007 — and the results.

    2008

    Jameis Winston and running back Peyton Barber celebrate a touchdown last season against the 49ers. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. Get the latest Tampa Bay Buccaneers news delivered daily to your email inbox

    Bucs

    They narrowly missed the playoffs by this much.

    Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans (13) celebrates with quarterback Jameis Winston (3) after they connected for a touchdown during a win over the Seattle Seahawks in November in Tampa. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  5. For starters: Rays at Yankees, in a pretty big series

    Blogs

    The Rays open a challenging road trip tonight in New York, the first of four games against the wild-card leading Yankees.

    Chris Archer will be on the mound for the Rays.