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Long Ball Proves To Be Rays Undoing

 
Long Ball Proves To Be Rays Undoing

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (620 WDAE) -- For the second straight night, the Tampa Bay Rays rallied to tie up the Baltimore Orioles only to see the bullpen unable to protect the deadlock.  This time it was Jonathan Schoop's two-run homer off Brandon Gomes that proved to be Tampa Bay's undoing, as they fell to the Orioles 4-3 Wednesday at Tropicana Field.

Rays starter Cesar Ramos did not have much of a problem with the Baltimore lineup, with the exception of Adam Jones.  The Orioles' centerfielder saw only two pitches from the Tampa Bay lefty, but hit each of them off the batters' eye in centerfield for a solo home run.  Jones led off both the second and the fourth inning with the blasts, which were two of the three hits allowed by Ramos, pitching into the sixth inning.

Tampa Bay did not have their first hit of the game until the fourth inning, when Matt Joyce led off the inning with a single, but had the leadoff hitter in each of the first three innings reach via a walk by Orioles starter Bud Norris.

David DeJesus finally got the Rays on the board, leading off the fifth with a solo home run of his own, and when Norris put a pair of runners on in the sixth with two out, pinch-hitter Sean Rodriguez came through off reliever Brian Matusz with a single, scoring James Loney with the tying run.

Gomes came on in relief of Ramos in the sixth to retire Jones on one pitch, and was cruising through the seventh, only to have Steve Pearce single with two out, and Schoop hit his third home run of the year on an 0-2 count to make it a 4-2 game.

Tampa Bay rallied again in the ninth off Orioles closer Tommy Hunter, as Wil Myers doubled to lead off the inning, moved to third two batters later on a single by Yunel Escobar, and scored on a base hit by Ryan Hanigan.  However, Ben Zobrist lined out, and Desmond Jennings laced a liner snagged by Hunter to end the game.

The Rays remain in last place in the American League East with a 15-19 record.

David Price will look to salvage the finale of this three-game series Thursday, when he takes on Ubaldo Jimenez.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:10, with pregame coverage beginning at 6:30.  The game will air on 1250-AM WHNZ and 97.9-FM (98 ROCK) due to WDAE's coverage of the NFL Draft.

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