The AL East race is coming down to the final few weeks of the regular season with the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles just a few games apart. The Blue Jays and Yankees have tailed off making this, most likely, a two-team race to the finish. The Rays were hoping to play spoiler and get at least a couple W’s in Baltimore.
Orioles 5 Rays 4
Brad Boxberger blew a quality start from Chris Archer in the eighth inning after giving up back to back walks and a hit batter to lead off the inning. J.J. Hardy and Michael Bourn did the rest giving the O’s the lead for good. Evan Longoria set a new career-high in home runs hitting his 34th bomb of the season in the first inning to get the Rays off to a quick start. Richie Shaffer also hit a home run in the second, his first of the season, to add to a very early Rays lead in support of Archer. Baltimore closer, Zach Britton, slammed the door in the ninth for his 44th consecutive save of the season.
W: Brach (9-3) L: Boxberger (4-2) S: Britton (44)
Rays 5 Orioles 2
Rays starter, Matt Andriese, pitched into the sixth inning and got just enough support from the Rays bats to get his eighth win of the season. The bullpen locked down the Orioles bats the rest of the way, as well, and Evan Longoria continued his hot second half with his 35th home run of the season to pace the offense. The Orioles only managed two early runs off the Rays staff in the first and third innings before being silenced the rest of the way.
W: Andriese (8-7) L: Tillman (16-6) S: Colome (34)
Orioles 2 Rays 1
Another quality start from Jake Odorizzi went to waste as it was just Corey Dickerson’s 21st home run of the season that gave the Rays their only run of the ballgame to break a scoreless tie in the fifth inning. Manny Machado tied it back up in the sixth with a solo shot and MLB home run king, Mark Trumbo, broke the tie and sealed the win for the O’s with his 43rd bomb in the eighth inning off reliever Ryan Garton.
W: Brach (10-3) L: Garton (1-1) S: Britton (45)
The Rays are off on Monday before welcoming in the Yankees for the final time in 2016. The two teams will play a three-game series ending on Thursday.
PROBABLES v YANKEES:
9/20 – Pineda (6-11, 4.94) v Smyly (7-11, 4.98)
9/21 – Tanaka (13-4, 2.97) v Cobb (1-0, 3.06)
9/22 – Cessa (4-2, 4.44) v Snell (5-8, 3.87)
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