Rays Drop Another Extra-Inning Affair

ST. PETERSBURG (WDAE) -- The Tampa Bay Rays' woes in extra-innings continued Wednesday, as Wilmer Flores' RBI single off Chaz Roe in the top of the 13th inning broke a 2-2 tie and allowed the Arizona Diamondbacks to salvage the finale of their three-game series with a 3-2 decision Wednesday at Tropicana Field.

For Rays starter Charlie Morton, it was a pair of leadoff walks that came back to haunt him early. The right-hander walked Jarrod Dyson to start the game, and after David Peralta singled him to third base, a fielder's choice grounder by Adam Jones allowed him to make it a 1-0 lead.

The third inning started the same as the first, with Morton walking Dyson and Peralta singling him up two batters later with a single, but Jones struck out and it was Ketel Marte who brought in the Arizona center fielder with a base hit and a 2-0 advantage.

Morton would not allow another run, but exited after five innings having given up seven hits and four walks while striking out eight.

Meanwhile Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray allowed just four hits and three walks while striking out a season-high 11.

Tampa Bay finally got on the board in the eighth as Yoan Lopez walked Yandy Diaz and allowed a base hit to Tommy Pham. Daniel Robertson then grounded to Escobar at third base, who threw the ball into center field trying to erase Pham at second base, allowing Diaz to score and cut the deficit in half. Torey Lovullo then turned to Yoshihisa Hirano, who hit Avisail Garcia with a pitch to load the bases, but got Mike Zunino to ground into a fielder's choice, erasing Pham at the plate. T.J. McFarland then struck out Brandon Lowe, one of the second baseman's five strikeouts on the afternoon, and Willy Adames lined out to Marte to end the threat.

Arizona had Tampa Bay down to its final strike in the ninth before Diaz doubled off Diamondbacks closer Greg Holland. Pham was intentionally walked, and Rays manager Kevin cash brought in Kevin Kiermaier to pinch hit for Andrew Velazquez. Kiermaier singled to center to score Diaz and tie the game, but when the center fielder rounded first base too far and was thrown behind, Pham tried to score and end the game, but was thrown out at the plate.

 

The Rays had a golden opportunity to walk off in the eleventh, as Adames led off the inning with a double to right, but Nate Lowe and pinch-hitter Ji-Man Choi each struck out and Diaz grounded out to end the threat.

Arizona finally broke through in the 13th inning, as Adam Kolarek allowed a base hit to Escobar and a walk to Peralta. Adam Jones grounded into a double play, but Marte worked a walk after falling behind 0-2 to allow Flores to hit with runners on the corners, and he blooped a pitch to right allowing Escobar to score the eventual winning run.

Zack Godley worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the inning for his first big league save.

NOTES: Zunino left Wednesday's game after the eighth inning with left quad tightness, which he said came while running out his fielder's choice grounder in the inning. The two teams combined to strike out 42 times Wednesday, which set a new Rays franchise record for strikeouts by both teams combined. Tampa Bay hitters went down via strikes 23 times, one shy of the club record, and Diamondbacks hitters struck out 19 times. Brandon Lowe's five-strikeout performance is the first time in franchise history that a player struck out five times in one game. Tampa Bay is now 0-4 this season in extra innings and 1-6 in one-run games.

FRIDAY'S MATCHUP

Tampa Bay Rays (23-13) vs. New York Yankees, 7:10 pm first pitch, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 6:00 with The Inside Pitch.

Rays starter: RHP Tyler Glasnow (6-0, 1.47 ERA)

Yankees starter: RHP Domingo German (6-1, 2.35 ERA)

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