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Chirinos solid in last-minute start, but Rays fall

Club's best scoring chance snuffed on Adames' baserunning mishap
May 4, 2019

BALTIMORE -- The Rays announced in the press box that they were changing starting pitchers about 75 minutes before the start of Saturday’s game with the Orioles. Due to concerns about impending storms that never quite arrived, they switched from opener Ryne Stanek to Yonny Chirinos, a bit of an

BALTIMORE -- The Rays announced in the press box that they were changing starting pitchers about 75 minutes before the start of Saturday’s game with the Orioles. Due to concerns about impending storms that never quite arrived, they switched from opener Ryne Stanek to Yonny Chirinos, a bit of an unusual move.

Chirinos had learned of the news around 5 p.m. ET. He was scheduled to pitch after Stanek anyway, so the right-hander was prepared. He pitched well despite the late notice of the change, but the Rays could not give him much offense as the Orioles scored a 3-0 victory at Oriole Park.

Chirinos pitched a career-high 7 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits, including Dwight Smith Jr.'s solo homer. The right-hander struck out three and gave up a run in the first, third and fourth but kept the Rays close.

Box score

The loss ended a streak of eight consecutive wins for Chirinos going back to 2018, but he said the surprise start didn’t affect much of anything.

“I felt really good,” he said through an interpreter. “The kind of preparation I work for in order to be an opener or a starter is to be prepared for anything, and of course, it feels good to be able to go long and do whatever I can.”

The bottom line is that instead of coming into the game in the second or third, Chirinos started because of the team’s concerns about the weather.

He was ready to go.

“You’ve just got to prepare for anything, especially on this team,” Chirinos said. “You’ve got to be prepared for when you’re going to start or when you’re going to open, and you’ve just gotta be ready for it.”

Dylan Bundy shut down the Rays during his 7 1/3 innings, holding them to only three hits and striking out four with one walk.

Rays manager Kevin Cash said missing on scoring chances in the first and second innings hurt them as Bundy then settled down.

“Our chances came early on, and we didn’t capitalize,” Cash said. “And like I say, he just got into a really good rhythm.”

The Rays’ best chance came in the eighth. Michael Perez doubled to left off Bundy, and Shawn Armstrong came on in relief. Willy Adames then hit a swinging bunt in front of the plate. The pitcher pounced on it but then threw high to first base, letting Perez come in to score.

But the umpires ruled that Adames had run out of the baseline and called interference, meaning he was out and Perez had to return to second base. Armstrong got out of the inning, and Mychal Givens closed it out in the ninth.

“They did get it right; it’s the right call,” Cash said. “I saw where Willy was -- he was out of the baseline.”

Adames said the momentum from his swing took him out onto the grass, and he did not realize he had to move himself over.

“I didn’t know that you have to be, like, halfway into that box that they have marked there,” Adames said. “I didn’t know that. That’s something new that I learned today. That could have been the start of the rally to get something going on. It was not anything that I was trying to do on purpose. My swing took me in that direction, and I just kept going that way.”