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The Baltimore Orioles have been basically untouchable when leading after seven innings over the past couple of seasons, but that all came to a stunning and screeching halt on Saturday. With a 6-4 lead entering the ninth, closer Jim Johnson, whose consecutive save streak ended at 35 on Tuesday, allowed a home run to Kelly Johnson, two walks, a single, before wrapping up his outing on Matt Joyce’s go-ahead, two-run double.
Sidearmer Darren O’Day took over from there and allowed both of Johnson’s inherited runners to score and then one of his own. All in all, it was a six-run rally for the Rays that turned Baltimore‘s lead into a 10-6 defeat, ending their remarkable 109-game winning streak in games they led after the seventh inning in the process.
I suppose they knew it was coming eventually, but one has to believe there were a few shocked people in Baltimore's clubhouse after it got away to that extent. Meanwhile, Evan Longoria and the Rays couldn't have been more thrilled they were the team to finally end the late inning dominance.
''Their track record after seven innings has spoken for itself,'' Longoria said. ''They've been really good late in the game. And Jim Johnson has been as good as they come. To be able to get to him and then tack a couple more on and be able to win a game like that, especially here in this hostile environment, is really big.''
The Rays will hope to make it three really big wins on Sunday as they go for the series sweep.
Read More »from The Juice: Rays rally in ninth inning, end Orioles 109-game win streak when leading after seven