Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Austin Meadows and shortstop Willy Adames authored the story of the Orioles’ 5-2 loss as they helped their hosts break the record for home runs allowed in a season.
In the third inning, Meadows sent Asher Wojciechowski’s pitch flying over the wall in right field for the 259th home run the Orioles have given up during the 2019 season, breaking the 2016 Cincinnati Red’s record of 258 home runs that they had equaled the night before.
The Orioles didn’t stop at 259. In the fifth inning, they pushed the number to 260 when Adames hit Wojciechowski’s fastball past the center field wall to tie the game at 2-2. Adames played a role in every run scored for either team, besides the two scored by Meadows.
The Orioles took an early lead with both of their runs coming from a series of errors by Adames in the first inning.
To open the game, third baseman Hanser Alberto reached first on a throwing error by Adames. First baseman Trey Mancini then hit a double to bring Alberto home, and another throwing error by Adames had Mancini rounding the bases and making it home.
In the fifth inning, Adames made up for the two errors with his home run, which tied the game at 2 before the game was sent into a 2-hour and 16-minute rain delay with two outs remaining.
Despite the two home runs Wojciechowski gave up, manager Brandon Hyde said he felt he did a good job and kept them in the game. Wojciechowski agreed.
““It was frustrating to give up those two solo homers,” Wojciechowski said. “But, I mean they gave me tough at-bats all night.”
The Orioles resumed play at 10:59 p.m. in front of the remaining 300 or so fans, and the Rays quickly got their two remaining outs.
With the Rays’ disciplined swinging, Wojciechowski had already racked up 96 pitches, so Miguel Castro relieved him once play resumed. He gave up a walk and a double, which put a runner in scoring position. Once again, Adames changed the game when his single brought both runners home, giving the Rays the 4-2 lead.
The Orioles responded by getting two runners on base and the winning run at the plate, but they ended the inning with both runners stranded.
Paul Fry replaced Castro in the seventh and retired five batters in a row during two scoreless innings, but the Orioles left four stranded over the course of those innings.
“They have really good relievers,” Hyde said. “They all throw 95 and up. … We did have our chances late in the game — a couple of runners on in a couple innings — just didn’t get the big hit."
Gabriel Ynoa pitched the ninth for the Orioles and gave up one more run when Meadows, who had hit a double, scored on a wild pitch.
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By the time the Orioles lost the game, they had played for 3 hours, 29 minutes in a game that spanned 5 hours, 45 minutes.