After years as an AL East doormat, the Baltimore Orioles have found new life this season. It continued through Thursday, with a little help from the Tampa Bay Rays.
With Baltimore leading 1–0 in the eighth inning, the Orioles hit hitter Trey Mancini, who should have been a regular fly ball for Ray’s right fielder Josh Lowe for the second half of the innings. We say “should be,” but instead, it’s probably better if you just look at what happened:
Losing a fly ball to the sun is embarrassing for an outfielder, but taking Noggin’s ball hurt to insult rookie Lowe, plus two runs for the Orioles made it a 3–0 ballgame. It was center fielder Roman Quinn who eventually pushed the ball into right field after an unfortunate bounce.
Quinn’s throw at home actually beat Mancini, but it was just a little too off-target for catcher René Pinto to make the tag. The play was also not recorded as an error for Lowe, as scorers are usually too generous to fielders whose balls are lost in the sun or light.
The Orioles completed a shutout after half an innings, improving their record to 50–49. Mancini went 2-for-4 with that homer accounting for his two RBIs.
Something similar happened with the Red Sox
Somehow, it isn’t even the deadliest fly ball lost by an AL East outfielder this month, as Boston Red Sox center fielder Jaren Duran was left helpless when a Toronto Blue Jays ball went missing at the Fenway Park Lights (a recurring theme). It was done this season).
Say what you will about Lowe’s mistake, at least it didn’t lead to a Grand Slam inside the park. And at least Rez didn’t allow 28 runs.