BALTIMORE — The pain of Tuesday's 11-10, 13-inning loss may stick with the Rays for a while.
There was the obvious, seeing four-time All-Star Carl Crawford leave the game after being struck in the groin by a throw, his discomfort clear though his status encouraging, day to day with a testicular contusion.
But it ran deeper than that, as they'd battled back after Matt Garza allowed three consecutive homers to take a four-run lead in the seventh, a two-run edge into the ninth and a one-run lead in the 12th, only to have it all slip away, and in cruel and unusual fashion.
They lost the game in the 13th when former Ray Julio Lugo singled in Cesar Izturis, the No. 9 hitter who drew a leadoff walk from Lance Cormier and moved to second on a bunt.
"It got away,'' manager Joe Maddon said. "The big one got away. We had it so many different ways all night long. It's a game we should have won but did not.''
That was after they lost a 9-7 lead when All-Star closer Rafael Soriano allowed three consecutive hits for his first ninth-inning blown save of the season. And they lost a 10-9 lead in the 12th when Corey Patterson doubled off Grant Balfour, working his third inning because Maddon liked the matchup, and scored on Scott Moore's sac fly off Dan Wheeler, with B.J. Upton's throw sailing wide.
Also lost for the Rays (56-37) was the chance to get within 1½ games of the first-place Yankees.
"It's very disappointing, anytime you fight like we did and go out there and just not get it done,'' Cormier said. "You can't walk the leadoff hitter in a game like this.''
After Garza put them behind, the Rays battled back, Upton and Matt Joyce hitting solo homers. The real rally came in the sixth, when the Rays took advantage of some "vintage" Orioles baseball to score four.
Jason Bartlett, who replaced Crawford in the lineup in a four-player shuffle, had a leadoff double and John Jaso a two-run single, but in between the Rays took advantage of a wild pitch, a throwing error by Ty Wigginton and a mental mistake as the Orioles left second base uncovered, allowing Willy Aybar to move into scoring position, which mattered when Jaso singled.
The Rays added two more in the seventh, loading the bases on walks before Aybar delivered a clutch two-out hit, a single to right that made it 8-4.
But it wasn't that simple, as the Orioles came back with three runs in their seventh, the big hit Miguel Tejada's liner that glanced off rightfielder Ben Zobrist's glove for a two-run double.
Brignac's eighth-inning homer made it 9-7, but the Rays couldn't close it out.
Garza didn't know how he'd be affected by the nine-day break between starts, and it certainly didn't go as he would have expected. He allowed three consecutive home runs for the first time in his 108 big-league games and a career high-matching four total.
Garza ended up working hard, sweating through 61/3 innings and 99 pitches, allowing 10 hits and seven runs, both matching his season highs. He left without talking to reporters.
"He just wasn't throwing it where he wanted to early,'' Maddon said.
Marc Topkin can be reached at email@example.com.