Simon slips out of trouble in the second (Rays take 2-1 lead)

The Orioles are holding a 1-0 lead that nearly slipped through their fingers in the second inning.

Actually, it almost crashed to the floor and shattered into a million pieces.

That’s a lot of debris for a one-run lead.

The Rays loaded the bases with no outs on a single, walk and single. That’s when Alfredo Simon went to work, striking out John Jaso on four pitches and inducing a double-play grounder with one pitch to Sean Rodriguez.

Simon started off Jaso with two 95 mph fastballs. He followed with an 82 mph cutter and fanned him with an 84 mph splitter.

Rodriguez swung at the first pitch, a 96 mph fastball, and grounded to shortstop J.J. Hardy, who started the double play.

The Orioles took their lead in the first inning on Hardy’s one-out double and Rodriguez’s throwing error.

Hardy is 10-for-53 with three doubles since homering in the eighth inning of an Aug. 29 game against the Yankees.

Update: Simon has retired 11 in a row since the Rays loaded the bases with no outs. David Price has retired 13 of 14, but the needed a spectacular leaping catch from left fielder Desmond Jennings to rob Robert Andino and end the fifth.

Andino singled in the third to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games.

Andino and Hardy have the only hits for the Orioles through the fifth.

Update II: Simon retired 12 in a row before B.J. Upton walked with one out in the sixth, and Evan Longoria followed with his 26th home run - a 392-foot shot to left on a slider.

Tampa Bay 2, Orioles 1.

Tonight’s attendance: 13,262

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