Longoria baserunning mistake hurts Rays
- Associated Press
- April 4, 2013 - 8:11 PM
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Evan Longoria ran the Rays right out of a potential big inning.
Longoria ran past Ben Zobrist on the bases, helping stall a ninth-inning rally in Tampa Bay's 6-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday.
Chris Davis homered for the third straight day and drove in four runs for the Orioles.
Longoria trimmed Tampa Bay's deficit to 6-3 with a long flyball that went off the wall in left-center. But a potential big inning fizzled when the three-time All-Star was called out for passing Zobrist on the bases as he headed into second for what would have been a double.
"It's one of those things you're taught to always keep your head up," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "It's unfortunate. And again, you always tell the trail runner to watch the guy in front of you. That's baserunning 101. Longo feels terrible about it, I'm sure."
Longoria disagreed with the umpires' decision.
"The bottom line is I didn't think it was the right call," Longoria said. "The replay doesn't look like I past him. I don't know. If you're going to make that call in that situation, it's got to be kind of blatant. It's just a bad break, I guess."
Zobrist, who had been holding up to see if the ball was caught, proceeded to third, where he was stranded.
"I was going back to the bag to tag if they caught the ball," Zobrist said. "It was a mistake really, a baserunning mistake. I would rather have gone right at second base and waited to see what happened, and if they caught the ball, then run back to first base. It was a tough call regardless of what that call ended up being, but I thought it was a baserunning mistake on my part."
Maddon argued the call to no avail.
"It's a judgment, but like I told Joe, that's like a missed base," umpire crew chief John Hirschbeck said. "That's not something that an umpire comes up with. That's the kind of thing you either see it or you don't. It usually happens on a play like this, where the batter is watching the ball, hoping it's going out."
"By league standards right now, that's not something we can review," Hirschbeck added. "It's not reviewable yet. It might be someday."
Davis went 7 of 11 with three homers, three doubles and a major league-leading 11 RBIs in helping the Orioles win two of three games in the season-opening series. He drove in four for the second day in a row, hitting a two-run homer in the second inning and a two-run double that broke a 2-2 tie against Roberto Hernandez (0-1) in the sixth.
"One guy kind of beat us," Maddon said. "You'd think at some point he'd hit the ball at somebody."
Adam Jones had three more hits, giving him seven in a series that saw the three-four-five spots in Baltimore's lineup go 17 for 37 with four homers, six doubles, 13 runs scored and 15 RBIs.
Miguel Gonzalez (1-0) allowed two runs and four hits over 6 1-3 innings. The Orioles' bullpen protected the lead, with Jim Johnson entering in the ninth to earn his second save after Brian Matusz allowed two runners to reach base.
The victory may have come at a price for the Orioles.
Second baseman Brian Roberts singled in the ninth and injured his right hamstring running to second base on a steal. He was helped off the field, and will undergo an MRI on Friday.
Hernandez, the 32-year-old right-hander formerly known as Fausto Carmona, made his first start for Tampa Bay — ending a stretch of 1,060 consecutive games by the Rays without using a starting pitcher 31 years or older, a streak that began in June 2006. All but 34 of those games during the streak were started by a pitcher under the age of 30, the exception being James Shields' 33 starts in 2012 and one by Jae Seo on the right-hander's 30th birthday in 2007.
Davis hit a three-run homer in Baltimore's 7-4 victory on opening day, then had another three-run homer and drove in four runs in an 8-7 loss to the Rays on Wednesday night. The first baseman has homered in nine of his last 10 regular-season games and has gone deep in five of his last six at Tropicana Field.
Gonzalez held the Rays hitless until fifth, when Tampa Bay scored twice even though none of the four groundball singles they strung together in the inning were struck well.
James Loney drove in the first run off Gonzalez with a single to center and Jose Molina made it 2-2 with a single to almost the same spot.
The Orioles answered quickly.
Nick Markakis drew a one-out walk, Jones singled for his third hit of the day, and Davis lined his two-run double into the gap in left-center field for a 4-2 lead. J.J. Hardy's two-run homer off Cesar Ramos made it 6-2 in the eighth.
Hernandez, who hit Davis with a pitch in the fourth, allowed four runs, six hits, two walks and struck out seven over 6 2-3 innings.
NOTES: The start by Hernandez also stopped two other long streaks by the Rays — 1,207 consecutive games without using a starting pitcher signed as a free agent and 1,693 games without using a starting pitcher specifically signed as a major league free agent.
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