Rays Squeak By With Help From Orioles Defense

Yarbrough Picks Up Ninth Win, Leads All Rookies

The Tampa Bay Rays were gifted the winning run in defeating the Baltimore Orioles 4-3 to open their four game series.

In the seventh inning the Rays took a 3-2 lead on a RBI single scoring Ji-Man Choi. Matt Duffy came up with 2-out and the bases loaded and tapped back to Jhan Marinez who threw wildly to first allowing Joey Wendle to score the eventual game winning run.

Ryan Yarbrough (9-5, 3.67 ERA) picks up the win for Tampa Bay who improve to 53-50 on the season.  He worked 4.1-innings allowing a pair of runs on Jonathan Schoop‘s homer.  He allowed six hits, walked two, and didn’t strike anyone out.

Yarbrough entered the game in the second inning in relief of Hunter Wood who recorded the games first five outs. Sergio Romo worked 1.2-innings and allowed a homer to Chris Davis to draw Baltimore to 4-3.  Austin Pruitt came in and retired the last four hitters to pick up his second save.

The Rays improve to 6-4 against the Orioles on the season and 20-23 in 1-run games. Tampa Bay leads the majors in 1-run games ahead of the Seattle Mariners (40). They also have the most 1-run losses in MLB ahead of the Orioles (20).

Alex Cobb (2-14, 6.08 ERA) takes the loss for the Orioles who drop to 29-74 on the season.  Cobb went six innings allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits striking out a pair and walking one.

Perez Gets First Big League Hit:

It was a night of firsts for rookie Michael Perez. Yesterday, the Rays acquired Perez along with minor league pitcher Brian Shaffer. To make room for Perez on the roster the Rays designated Adam Moore for assignment.

Against the Orioles, Perez got his first start in his first MLB game. In the third inning he made his first out sending a line drive to shortstop Tim Beckham. He got his first big league hit, an opposite field double, in the fifth inning. He was lifted for a pinch hitter, another first, in the seventh. Most importantly, he enjoyed his first big league victory.

Choi Remains Hot, Loses Homer:

Ji-Man Choi finished the night 2-for-4 with a double, RBI, and a run scored.  Over his last five games he’s batting .389 (7-for-18).

In the seventh inning Choi sent an opposite field homer that appeared to go through a fans hands, hit him in the torso, hit the concrete behind the wall, and then bound back onto the field of play.

It was ruled a double on the field and the play was reviewed. Somehow, the call stood and Choi was denied a homer.  He did move to third on a Joey Wendle single and scored on Adeiny Hechavarria‘ single.  In a lighter moment in the dugout, Choi was seen going through a series of pushups, weight curls, and squats at the instruction of Mallex Smith.

Up Next For The Rays:

Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles
AP Photo; Chris O’Meara

The Rays and Orioles play the second of four Friday night at 7:10. Chris Archer (3-4, 4.30 ERA) takes the mound in what could be his last start as a Ray.  The Orioles counter with Andrew Cashner (2-9, 4.40 ERA).