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The Orioles finally lose a one-run game while the Rays finally win one

Sep 1, 2012, 5:18 PM EDT

Molina Vizquel collision Getty Getty Images

We’ve heard a lot recently about the Orioles’ success in one-run games and the Rays’ inability to win one. Well, their fortunes finally reversed today.

We’ll start with the Orioles. They entered the bottom of the seventh inning with a 3-1 lead against the Yankees, but things unraveled from there. Wei-Yin Chen was ahead of Jayson Nix 0-2 with two outs and a runner on first, but he ended up walking him. Eduardo Nunez then delivered an RBI single before Buck Showalter brought the hook. His replacement, Pedro Strop then issued two walks, including one to Derek Jeter to force in a run. The go-ahead run scored after J.J. Hardy mishandled a hard-hit ball up the middle off the bat of Nick Swisher.

The Yankees didn’t get much from starter David Phelps, who gave up three runs on three hits and six walks over just 4 2/3 innings, but the bullpen was excellent. Cody Eppley, Boone Logan, David Robertson and Rafael Soriano combined to give up just one hit and two walks over 4 1/3 shutout innings. The loss snapped a streak of 13 straight wins in one-run games for the Orioles dating back to June 20 against the Mets. With today’s 4-3 win, the Yankees have a three-game cushion again in the American League East.

As for the Rays, they ended up hanging on thanks to a five-out save from Fernando Rodney and some heroics from B.J. Upton and Jose Molina. Colby Rasmus hit a single to center field with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Upton made a strong throw to Molina, who blocked a charging Omar Vizquel from scoring the tying run. You’ll recall last night’s game ended in the same exact fashion, as Blue Jays’ catcher Jeff Mathis was able to hang on following a collision with Elliot Johnson. Crazy.

As you can see with the video here, it looked like the 45-year-old Vizquel hit a brick wall. Molina came up limping after the collision, but he was able to hang onto to the ball to help secure the 5-4 victory. The Rays entered today’s action with 11 losses in their last 12 games decided by one run, but hey, maybe they are turning a new leaf now that the calendar has flipped to September.

  1. qacm - Sep 1, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    Until Friday night, it had been more than a year since a game ended on a throw from the outfield to home plate. Then, naturally, the very next day it happens once again — to the same two teams!!

    Such bizarro unpredictability makes baseball an enduring source of wonder and mystery. God, I love this game.

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 1, 2012 at 5:56 PM

      Agreed!

    • jaysjunkie - Sep 2, 2012 at 12:59 PM

      I had the exact same “I love this game” thought after Vizquel got thrown out.

  2. rightygroove - Sep 1, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    Bah! That Molina-Vizquel play was nonsense! Molina blocked the plate and collided all before he had the ball. That’s safe on interference.

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 1, 2012 at 6:10 PM

      I was wondering about that originally, but Molina also positioned himself to make the catch on the high throw. I think that Vizquel might have tried a different route to the plate. A wide slide and reaching out to tag the plate might have been successful.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 1, 2012 at 6:48 PM

        If he had dove inside the basepath he might have been safe, as the throw took Molina into foul territory. Unfortunately, as DJ mentioned, Vizquel ran out of gas about half way down the line. Was no one available to pinch run?

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 1, 2012 at 7:13 PM

        Nobody fast was available to pinch run. McCoy had been used as a pinch runner in the 8th inning and Gose will not be recalled from Triple A until his season is over.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 1, 2012 at 7:20 PM

        Why not bring up Gose when the rosters expanded, today iirc? They already burned one option bringing him up so they wouldn’t have to burn a second if he returned. Are they worried about his arb clock?

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 1, 2012 at 8:06 PM

        The Jays just want to make sure that Gose gets his at bats. Historically, the team usually waits until the minor league season is over before recalling players.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 1, 2012 at 9:48 PM

        Ah gotcha, thanks

  3. proudlycanadian - Sep 1, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    That was quite a collision between geezers Vizquel and Molina; however, at their age someone could get seriously hurt. Recent Blue Jays games have been fun to watch. Today, they never quit despite being behind by 4 to 0 early. Another home run for Encarnacion.

    • raysfan1 - Sep 1, 2012 at 7:35 PM

      Collisions like that can injure anyone regardless of age, to which Buster Posey can attest.

      The disparity in quality between the top and bottom of this division is really quite small.

    • jaysjunkie - Sep 2, 2012 at 1:01 PM

      Fantastic last couple of games and hopefully today’s will be as well. EE’s homer was a monster shot, huh?

  4. cackalackyank - Sep 1, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Hey remember when Jose Molina used to play for the Yankees? I think it was the last time they won the world series.

  5. Old Gator - Sep 1, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    Well well, Peter Angelos don’t look like such a genius tonight, do he?

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