Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/22/13
Tommy Hunter isn’t used to these situations. Ninth inning up by two runs two runners on. Tampa Bay’s Kelly Johnson took off for second. If he made it the Rays would have the tying run on second. Matt Wieters had other ideas. He fired the ball to J.J. Hardy who slapped the tag on Johnson to abruptly end the game. The Orioles were able to salvage one of three from Tampa Bay 4-2 before 28323 at Oriole Park on Wednesday night. Hunter is slow to the plate Johnson said and as the tying run he was confident he could make it. “I just probably wouldn’t run on Wheaty. That’s not the first idea that popped into my head” Hunter said. Manager Buck Showalter decided he wanted to keep away from embattled closer Jim Johnson in the ninth. With a two-run lead he kept Darren O’Day in the game who had briskly retired the side in the eighth on just eight pitches. O’Day gave up a single on his eighth pitch to Wil Myers and Brian Matusz came in to face James Loney. On 11 pitches Matusz walked James Loney and Hunter retired Matt Joyce on a fly to center. Johnson hit into a fielder’s choice and with Jose Lobaton at the plate he took off “That runner at third doesn't mean anything. We've got two outs. I throw the ball as hard as I can and hopefully we get him” Wieters said. He got him and Hunter got his fourth save—or perhaps his catcher. “Did Wieters get the save?” Showalter said. Tampa Bay (72-53) won the first two games of the series to temporarily take first place in the AL East. With their loss and Boston’s win in San Francisco on Wednesday afternoon the Rays are trailing the Red Sox but leading the Wild Card race. The Orioles (68-58) are still 4 ½ games out of the second Wild Card. The Oakland Athletics currently that second Wild Card team come in for a three-game series on Friday and the Orioles will have a chance to make up some ground. “It was big not to get swept and to carry a little bit of momentum into the off day. We’ve got another big series here with Oakland coming in to town and then obviously a huge road trip. It was good to get at least one game from these guys” Davis said.
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