Wieters barely missed a three-run homer, the ball hitting a few inches below the top of the center field fence and eluding the glove of Tampa Bay’s Desmond Jennings, who almost made a spectacular catch.
For a moment, it appeared that Wieters had a home run. Then it appeared that Jennings had made a great grab. Then it appeared that he brought the ball back into play, but failed to secure it.
None of the above.
Wieters is batting .333 against the Rays since entering the majors in 2009, the highest average for any player with 40 or more games. His 47 RBIs rank third behind Robinson Cano (49) and Adam Lind (48).
The game didn’t stay tied for long. Yunel Escobar walked with one out in the top of the fourth and Matt Joyce hit his 16th home run to give the Rays a 4-2 lead.
Tillman had retired the side in order on only 11 pitches in the third, leaving his total at 62. He’s now up to 80 through the fourth.
Tillman had allowed three runs or fewer in five of his last six starts.
The Orioles could have done more damage against left-hander David Price. Twice, they’ve had runners on second and third with one out and failed to score. They’ve stranded five runners in three innings.
Danny Valencia reached on an infield single leading off the bottom of the fourth. He’s 9-for-12 against Price.
Down on the farm, Kevin Gausman has allowed two hits, walked none and struck out seven in five scoreless innings for Triple-A Norfolk.
Update: Gausman was removed after the fifth. He threw 70 pitches, 50 for strikes.
The Orioles are 2-for-9 with RISP and have stranded seven in four innings. In three straight innings, they’ve had a runner on third base with one out and failed to score.
Tillman retired the Rays in order in the fifth, leaving his pitch count at 91. That’s his second 11-pitch inning of the night.
Update II: The Orioles had runners on second and third with one out in the fifth. They had the bases loaded with two outs. And they still couldn’t score.
Steve Pearce grounded into a force, leaving the Orioles 2-for-11 with RISP. They’ve stranded 10 runners.
They’ve had a runner on third with one out in each of the last four innings and didn’t bring him home.
Price has allowed 10 hits for the third time this season, but he continues to lead 4-2. He’s walked more than one batter for the first time since May 4.
Update III: Tillman will fail for the third straight start to win his 15th game.
Tillman allowed four runs and five hits in six innings, with one walk, five strikeouts and two home runs. He threw 107 pitches, 73 for strikes.
Tillman retired the last eight batters after Joyce’s home run.
The Orioles have stranded 11 batters in six innings. They got Price out of the game after only five innings, but they continue to trail 4-2.
Tonight’s attendance: 25,044.
Update IV: Wieters just homered onto the flag court in right field, leaving him a triple short of the cycle and leaving the Orioles behind by one run in the seventh inning.
Wieters’ 18th homer came off Rays right-hander Joel Peralta.
So, that’s the key for the Orioles. Forget putting runners in scoring position. Just go for solo home runs.
Update V: Game over. The Orioles go 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position and strand a season-high 15 in a 4-3 loss to the Rays.
Fernando Rodney picked up his 28th save.
Chris Davis doubled with one out in the eighth, but Jones and Wieters struck out.
J.J. Hardy opened the ninth by bouncing a single into right field, but pinch-runner Alexi Casilla was caught stealing for only the second time in nine attempts. Nick Markakis walked, but Valencia struck out and Nate McLouth grounded out.
Can’t say the Orioles (67-57) didn’t have plenty of chances. They are now 14-22 in one-run games.
The game lasted 3 hours, 56 minutes. Slow water torture.