By: Garrett Ballard
The Baltimore Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays 10-3 on Friday night. Rays pitching struggled all night, and it resulted in the Orioles jumping the Rays in both the playoff and American League East standings.
Pitching dooms Rays
The scoring started immediately for the Orioles, with Adley Rutschman hitting a solo home run in the opening inning of the game. Corey Kluber struggled all night for Tampa Bay, pitching six innings but giving up seven runs.
Kluber could not get in a groove at all on Friday, as the Orioles got hit after hit. The Orioles were able to score in seven innings of this nine-inning game, including four in the sixth inning.
Each of the four Tampa Bay pitchers allowed a run to score, including position player Yu Chang, who pitched for the second time in a week.
The Rays’ offense stays asleep
Usually, if Tampa Bay’s offense is in a lull, a series against the Orioles wakes it up. This series seems to be different, however.
The Rays managed just three runs. Two of them came from a home run hit by Randy Arozarena, who always plays well against the Orioles. The other run was from an RBI double by Taylor Walls in the seventh inning.
In a crucial series, when the Rays need runs the most, the offense stays flat.
The playoff picture becomes more complicated
This series is a big one when it comes to the playoffs. The Orioles are now in front of the Rays in the wild card standings and are half a game behind the second-place team, the Seattle Mariners.
The Rays are now in fourth place, one game behind the Mariners and half a game behind the Orioles. The rest of this series will go a long way to determine the playoff picture.
The Rays and Orioles play again on Saturday at 4:10 P.M. Eastern. Spencer Watkins (4-2, 4.02 ERA) gets the start for the Orioles. Shane McClanahan (10-5, 2.24 ERA) is looking to get back on track for the Rays on Saturday.