It hasn’t been a good night for the Orioles and we still have three more innings to play.
Or should I say, but we still have three more innings to play? Depends whether that glass is half full or empty.
Chris Tillman became the latest Orioles starter to exit in the middle innings, lasting only five and departing with the Rays leading 4-2.
Rule 5 pick T.J. McFarland replaced him and gave up his first major league run in the sixth inning on a walk and two hits.
McFarland had tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings over his first two appearances, allowing two hits, walking one and striking out eight. But he walked Shelley Duncan with one out and James Loney followed with a double off the out-of-town scoreboard in right.
Duncan held at second for whatever reason before finally reaching third base, and the miscue figured to hurt the Rays when Jose Molina followed with a ground ball to second baseman Alexi Casilla, who started a rundown that ended in a 4-5-2 putout.
Two baserunning blunders for Duncan in one inning.
Yunel Escobar, batting ninth and carrying an .089 average into tonight’s game, singled to score Loney and increase Tampa Bay’s lead to 5-2. Duncan was off the hook.
Desmond Jenning struck out to end the inning.
Update: The Rays tacked on another run in the eighth inning on Loney’s third hit of the night, a single that scored Matt Joyce, who singled and stole second base. Loney was batting .167 before tonight.
McFarland allowed two runs and four hits in 2 1/3 innings, with one walk and three strikeouts. He’s totaled 11 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings.
Tonight’s attendance: 13,591
Update II: The Orioles are back at .500 after tonight’s 6-2 loss to the Rays.
Fernando Rodney walked Nate McLouth leading off the bottom of the ninth, but he retired the next three batters, as the Orioles dropped to 7-7.
Nolan Reimold bounced into a force as part of an 0-for-4 night. Orioles designated hitters are 3-for-47.
Tommy Hunter struck out two batters in 1 2/3 scoreless innings.