Orioles get within a run of the Rays (we’re tied)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Both starting pitchers are out of tonight’s game as we finish up the bottom of the sixth inning.

Jason Hammel retired 12 of the last 14 batters he faced, but will remain winless since May 27. The Orioles have scored a run in each of the last two innings and trail the Rays 3-2.

Hammel allowed three runs (two earned) and six hits in five innings, with no walks and three strikeouts. He threw 77 pitches, 52 for strikes.

Troy Patton replaced Hammel, his first appearance since Sept. 11 and only his third this month. He immediately walked pinch-hitter Sean Rodriguez before retiring the next two batters. Francisco Rodriguez replaced him.

Half of the hits off Hammel came in the first inning, when the Rays scored twice. Of the 77 pitches thrown tonight, 21 came in the first inning.

Rays left-hander David Price went five-plus innings and was charged with two runs and nine hits. He was removed after Matt Wieters’ leadoff double in the sixth.

Wieters is 2-for-3 tonight, giving him a .337 average against the Rays since breaking into the majors in 2009.

Wieters scored on consecutive grounders by J.J. Hardy and Nick Markakis against Rays reliever Jamey Wright. Left-hander Jake McGee replaced Wright and struck out Michael Morse.

Interesting that Rays manager Joe Maddon brought in a southpaw to face Morse, who went 0-for-2 with a walk before Chris Dickerson replaced him in left field. Morse is 3-for-26 with the Orioles.

We have a scoring change. Take away Matt Joyce’s RBI on Chris Davis’ error in the first inning.

Update: The Orioles scored twice in the top of the seventh to take a 4-3 lead. Adam Jones’ RBI double tied the game and Danny Valencia’s sacrifice fly moved the Orioles ahead for the first time tonight.

Brian Roberts started the rally with a 10-pitch walk against McGee. Manny Machado was drilled on the right hand, but stayed in the game, and Roberts scored on Jones’ double to left-center field. Chris Davis struck out, but Valencia lifted a fly ball to right-center field.

Kevin Gausman will work the bottom of the seventh inning. The Orioles have used four pitchers, the Rays five.

Update II: Gausman surrendered the tying run in the bottom of the seventh on Ben Zobrist’s one-out single to right field. Yunel Escobar scored after a leadoff single and a wild pitch.

Gausman was pitching for the third time in four nights. He’s allowed one run and two hits with no walks and seven strikeouts over four innings.

The last 12 games have been decided by two runs or fewer, and it looks like more of the same tonight.

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