Like drives to left field, Orioles’ rally comes up short as Rays even series with 7-6 win – Baltimore Sun

For the second time in four games, the Orioles rallied from a 6-2 deficit only for their opponent to score a late run and hand them a 7-6 defeat.

This time, the Tampa Bay Rays were the dealers, evening the series at Camden Yards after the Orioles won Friday night’s opener, 1-0. Baltimore (29-38) saw two balls that would have been home runs in the ballpark’s old dimensions stay in thanks to the venue’s new left field wall.

The first came off the bat of Robinson Chirinos, who instead settled for his second double of the day. The previous one plated two runs in the second, but the Rays answered with four in the third off rookie right-hander Kyle Bradish before adding two more in the fifth.

The latter came in the eighth after the Orioles erased that deficit with four runs between the fifth and sixth innings, with Trey Mancini driving a ball to deep left only for it to be caught. It marked the fifth time the new wall has taken a home run from Mancini, who entered Saturday leading all of baseball in the difference between his expected and actual home run total, according to Statcast.

Between them, Chirinos and Mancini have hit eight of the Orioles’ 14 would-be home runs. They had more success keeping the ball on the ground Saturday. After Ryan Mountcastle got a run back with an RBI single in the fifth, Chirinos, in the lineup with Adley Rutschman getting a planned day off, brought home two more with a bases-loaded knock. By stealing second, he became the first Oriole since Boog Powell in 1970 with a steal, two doubles, three hits and four RBIs in one game.

An inning later, Mancini hit a groundball to shortstop with two outs but reached on an error. He went to second on Mountcastle’s walk before scoring the tying run on Anthony Santander’s single.

The game remained even until the Rays scored on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly off Dillon Tate in the top of the ninth.

Since dominating the St. Louis Cardinals in his third major league start, Bradish has struggled immensely. Saturday’s outing, in which he allowed six runs in 4 1/3 innings, marked the sixth time in seven starts the rookie failed to complete five innings. He has a 9.20 ERA in that span.

He opened Saturday with two scoreless innings, with Chirinos’ first double staking him to a two-run lead, before the Rays recorded four straight hits to begin the third, tying the game. Harold Ramirez’s two-out double gave Tampa Bay a two-run advantage, which Ji-Man Choi doubled with a home run off Bradish in the fifth.

Bradish has a 9.82 ERA in starts against American League East teams, compared with a 4.35 mark opposing non-divisional opponents.

After an up-and-down 2021 season, perhaps no Oriole has been more consistent than left-handed reliever Keegan Akin. In his first outing off the restricted list — a requirement for unvaccinated players whose team goes to Toronto — Akin pitched two scoreless innings, his 17th straight relief appearance of at least that length to open the season.

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That’s one shy of the major league record, held by Wade LeBlanc and Chuck Crim, both of whom made starts amid those stretches. The only Orioles reliever with more two-inning appearances at this point of a season was eventual Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm in 1961.

Saturday’s outing lowered Akin’s ERA to 2.48 in 40 innings, the most among major league relievers.

This story will be updated.

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