The Tampa Bay Rays looked as though they were headed to another loss to the Baltimore Orioles, which would have marked the first home series loss to the O's in the last 11 visits by Baltimore. But being down a run in the ninth against Baltimore closer Tanner Scott, they rallied for two to defeat the Orioles 5-4 on a bases-loaded two-out, two-strike single up the middle by Austin Meadows, his very first big-league walk-off hit!
The game was a see-saw affair throughout, as Baltimore picked up a run in the first, on back-to-back leadoff doubles by Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays.
Then in the bottom of the inning, Randy Arozarena hit his first career leadoff homer to tie the game at 1. The Rays took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second as Joey Wendle drove in Francisco Mejia with a triple.
Baltimore came back in the top of the third on a Pat Valaika solo homer on the first pitch he saw from Rays starter Michael Wacha. That first-pitch homer got Wacha again in the top of the fourth, as Ryan Mountcastle led off with another solo shot to allow the O's to take back a one-run lead.
Randy Arozarena then decided he'd try to hit the first pitch leading off the bottom of the fifth, and he did so, depositing in over the center field fence for his second home run of the game and 13th on the year off last-minute Orioles starter Alexander Wells. That shot tied the game at 3.
The O's took the lead again in the sixth, a single by Mountcastle, driving in Trey Mancini off Rays' reliever Matt Wisler making the score 4-3.
The Rays threatened in their half of the seventh inning, as Brett Phillips tripled with one out. Baltimore Orioles manager Brandon Hyde called for reliever Dillon Tate, who came on to strike out Arozarena and induce Vidal Brujan to ground out, ending the threat.
Collin McHugh pitched two scoreless innings to pick up the win for the Rays, who are heading to Cleveland to play the Indians in a four-game set starting Thursday. Coverage starts at 6:30 p.m. Thursday with Neil Solondz and the Rays pre-game show, with first pitch with Andy Freed and Dave Wills at 7:10; hear it all on 95.3 WDAE!
COVER PHOTO: Getty Images