Grand theft homer: Rays rob O's twice

Grand theft homer: Rays rob O's twice

BALTIMORE -- One could have sworn Kevin Kiermaier was playing on Friday night.

The Rays' Gold and Platinum Glove center fielder is still on the disabled list with a fractured left hand. In his absence, the Rays' outfield flashed plenty of leather in a 6-3 loss to the Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

One of Kiermaier's most iconic defensive plays of 2015 saw him leap at the center-field wall to rob Manny Machado of a home run.

#THIS: Kiermaier's stellar catch

With two outs in the first and Kiermaier likely watching somewhere in the Tampa Bay area on Friday night, Desmond Jennings jumped at the wall to steal a home run from -- you guessed it, Machado.

In the fourth, Adam Jones hit a ball deep to left. Taylor Motter raced to the wall, reached up and turned a home run into a flyout if you're keeping score. The Rays' left fielder remained statuesque holding the ball in his gloved hand following the theft.

"With that shorter fence out there, you have to give everything an effort," Motter said. "So I got to the fence and did my best to catch it."

Motter robs homer, Jones cries

The wind did its part, too.

"The wind was keeping the ball in pretty well tonight," Motter said. "[The balls Jennings and I caught] came back, for sure. That wind was pushing everything back into the field today. It helped us in the early innings."

Right fielder Jaff Decker might have made the best grab of the bunch when he retired Nolan Reimold with a sliding catch in foul territory in the third.

Decker later added a nice running grab at the wall to end the sixth and save another run from scoring.

Decker's sliding catch

"There were some really nice plays out there," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I don't know if one or both of them saved home runs from going out of the ballpark. Then Decker comes in and makes a really nice play on the warning track."

In the end, the plays were all for naught as the Rays took their eighth consecutive loss.

"I wish we could put everything together and pull out a win," Motter said. "But take one step at a time. Just get all the new guys, everyone clicking. See what happens."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.