A three run rally in the top half of the eighth inning, including home runs from Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria, wasn’t enough as the Tampa Bay Rays drop their fourth straight game 5-4 to the Baltimore Orioles.  The Rays have now lost seven of eight and are off to one of the worst starts in franchise history.

The Rays offense came into the game scoring a total of six runs in their last five games, but things got off to a great start for the Rays on the very first pitch of the inning.  Desmond Jennings led off the game with a bang blasting his first home run of the season into the seats in left field putting the Rays up 1-0.  For Jennings, it was third career home run as the first batter of a ballgame.

Things turned for the worst for the Rays and starting pitcher Roberto Hernandez following the early lead in the top of the first.  Hernandez lead off the game with a walk to Nate McLouth, who then stole second base leaving Manny Machado to put the Orioles on the board in the Baltimore half of the first.  Machado notched the first tally with an RBI double to deep center tying the game at one.

The Baltimore offense took the lead in the bottom half of the 2nd inning with a solo home run by Matt Wieters making it a 2-1 ball game. The Orioles added another run in the bottom of the third inning on a Nick Narkakis single to right scoring McLouth to make it 3-1 Baltimore. 

Baltimore added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning on a fielder’s choice error charged to Evan Longoria with the bases loaded and one out.  JJ Hardy numbed a slow roller to third in which Longoria charged to make the throw to home, but the throw was wide to the plate and the force play was missed making it 4-1 Baltimore.  Ryan Flaherty drove in Baltimore’s fifth run in the bottom half of the 6th grounding out to second base scoring Adam Jones making it 5-1 Baltimore.

The Rays made it a game in the top of the eighth on a pair of home runs by Kelly Johnson and a two run shot by Evan Longoria pulling the Rays within a run at 5-4.  However the Baltimore Orioles bullpen shut the door as Brian Matusz, Darren O’Day, and Jim Johnson closed the door pitching the final 1 1/3 innings only allowing one hit on 23 combined pitches.  Johnson earning his sixth save in as many chances.

The Rays offense struggled once again with runners in scoring position Tuesday night going 0-6.  The Rays are 1-28 with runners in scoring position on their current four game losing streak.  Roberto Hernandez gets the loss and falls to 0-3 on the season.

The Rays road trip now stands at 1-6 with two more games to play, but they’ll look to get a ‘W’ tomorrow with Matt Moore on the mound against Chris Tillman.  Check out all the action Wednesday night on 620am WDAE beginning at 6:30pm.