Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Drew Rasmussen takes perfect game into the ninth inning

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Drew Rasmussen retired the first 24 batters he faced on Sunday consecutively, before losing his perfect game bid in the ninth inning of the Tampa Bay Rays’ 4-1 home win over the Baltimore Orioles.

Rasmussen was three outs from the first perfect game in franchise history before Baltimore’s Jorge Mateo doubled down the left-field line on the first pitch of the ninth inning.

The 27-year-old right-hander faced two more hitters, one of which reached first base on a wild pitch after striking out, before being relieved by Jason Adam with one out. Rasmussen also threw a wild pitch earlier in the inning that allowed Mateo to score the Orioles’ lone run.

Rasmussen finished with seven strikeouts while yielding just the one hit in eight-and-a-third innings – his longest outing in the majors.

"I mean, I’ll take it," he said after the game. "I wouldn’t say it was disappointing. I came that close, and very few can say they’ve done that, too."

It is the second time in Rays history they have carried a perfect game into the ninth inning. Ryne Stanek and Ryan Yarbrough combined to retire the first 24 Baltimore hitters before having that bid also foiled with none out in the ninth against the Orioles on July 14, 2019.

The victory moved Tampa Bay one-and-a-half games ahead of the Orioles for the third and final wild card spot in the American League