On a night when the Tampa Bay Rays tied a team record by making five errors, the Orioles took advantage to score three unearned runs in a 5-3 win over the Rays in front of 32,862 at Camden Yards.
Brian Matusz got his second win of the year, Adam Jones drove in two runs, Bill Hall provided a late solo homer for an insurance run and the O’s bullpen did another tremendous job to preserve the lead in the late innings.
The Orioles have won the first two games of this series which began as a matchup between two teams tied for the American League East lead. A win Sunday would give Baltimore its first home three-game sweep of the Rays since July 24-26, 2007.
The Orioles improved to 3-3 on this homestand and 22-12 on the season with their 14th win in their past 18 games. They are now 12-5 against the AL East.
Going back to Sept. 7 of last season, the Orioles are 22-10 within their division and are 4-1 against Tampa in that time.
Matusz was the winning pitcher to improve to 2-4 with an ERA of 5.50. He gave up three runs and seven hits over 5 2/3 innings and the Orioles bullpen followed him with 3 1/3 scoreless innings.
In this series, Orioles relievers have retired all 19 batters they have faced. Jim Johnson got the final three outs for his 11th save.
After Brandon Guyer gave Tampa a 1-0 lead with a homer in the second, the Orioles went ahead 2-1 in the last half of the inning when Steve Tolleson doubled in a run and a second run scored on an outfield error. Jones added a two-run single in the fifth for the Birds. Jones has nine RBIs over his last eight games. Hall’s homer in his first O’s game in the eighth provided a two-run, 5-3 lead.
The Orioles have won another series and are 8-3 in series in 2012 and they also improve to 8-4 in a 15-game stretch of games against New York, Boston, Texas and Tampa Bay.
Matt Moore gave up four runs over 4 1/3 innings to take the loss and the Rays fall to 20-14 and two games behind the Orioles with their sixth loss in their past seven games. This was the third time in team history and first since April 15, 2001 that the Rays made five errors in one game.
On Sunday afternoon at 1:35 p.m., Jake Arrieta (2-3, 4.23 ERA) pitches for the Orioles against Tampa’s James Shields (5-1, 3.23MERA). The Orioles have the major leagues’ best winning percentage in day games at .889, going 8-1.