There have probably been times this season where the Orioles clubhouse has been quieter after a loss, but tonight's 7-5 defeat in 11 innings to the Tampa Bay Rays certainly took a toll.

Rays third baseman Evan Longoria lined a one-out, RBI single off Jeremy Accardo in the 11th inning to plate the go-ahead run. However, the Orioles were upset that the game had even gotten to that point.

Advertisement

Thanks to two Mark Reynolds' homers off David Price, including the go-ahead shot in the sixth inning, and a bases-loaded walk by rookie Brandon Snyder in the eighth, the Orioles took a one-run lead into the top of the ninth.

Closer Kevin Gregg, who had converted five straight save opportunities, got the first out before Ben Zobrist lined a triple into left-field. Felix Pie had a long run to get to the ball, but it probably should have been caught. He's certainly made better plays than that. Gregg then walked Matt Joyce before retiring Longoria on an infield pop-up. But he couldn't put away Casey Kotchman who dropped the game-tying RBI single into center field.

"Every time it slips away, it's frustrating," said Gregg who blew his fourth save in 16 opportunities. "You try and make your pitches and hopefully the ball bounces your way. ... Kotchman goes down and hits a liner to center field. There's not much to say about it. But, you know, he pops that ball up, we're good."

It's easy to look put the game on Gregg for blowing another save, but the Orioles defense really cost the club tonight, while the Rays made two huge plays late in the game.

Lefti fielder Justin Ruggiano elevated over the wall to rob J.J. Hardy of a homer in the seventh. After Brandon Snyder's bases-loaded walk in the eighth gave the Orioles a 5-4 lead, Hardy hit a hard one hopper that Rays shortstop Reid Brignac made a great sprawling stop on and then got the out at second to end the inning. That ball gets by him and the Orioles have a three-run lead to take into the bottom of the eighth.

"The play there their shortstop made on Hardy, I thought that was a big play," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "[It] could have opened it up a little bit for us and given us a margin for error. Defense I think more than anything might have been the difference maker for us tonight, a couple plays, really three plays we didn't quite make."

I'm guessing the three players Showalter was referring to was Pie's failure to catch Zobrist's liner in the ninth, Snyder's inability to field Robert Andino's bouncing throw that got by him and scored the tying run in the seventh, and Snyder's inability to handle Zobrist's leadoff double in the 11th. Zobrist eventually scored the go-ahead run.

As for one positive, Reynolds now has six homers in his last 11 games, and a team-leading 12 homers and 35 RBIs on the season. He hit a solo shot off Price in the fifth inning and then the two-run shot off him in the sixth. That came on a 3-0 fastball.

"I haven't gotten the green light all year to be honest with you," he said. "But we're down a run with a guy on. I've been swinging the bat pretty good so why not? I was kind of happy that he gave it to me. I know he doesn't want to put a runner in scoring position right there so he gave me a heater right there."

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement