The Orioles improved to 7-6 in the opener of a three-game series and nine-game homestand. The Rays fall to 4-9 with their seventh loss in the last eight games.
Arrieta gave up a homer to Desmond Jennings on the first pitch he threw, but wasn’t scored on after that. It was not a pitch-efficient night, but he went five-plus innings, allowing three hits and just one run with five walks and seven strikeouts.
He fanned five batters over the fourth and fifth innings and threw 112 pitches, 63 for strikes in gaining the victory. He entered with a 5.88 career ERA against the Rays.
This was the seventh consecutive game where the O’s starting pitcher allowed three earned runs or fewer and the starters’ ERA is 3.63 in that span.
The Orioles tied the game 1-1 in the last of the first on a Manny Machado RBI double and went up 2-1 an inning later on Wieters’ solo homer. It was his first homer since his first at-bat of the season and ended a 2-for-26 stretch for the O’s catcher, who was batting just .200 at game time.
When Nick Markakis singled in a run in the third, the lead grew to 3-1, which became 5-1 when the Orioles plated a pair of unearned runs in the sixth.
But the struggling Rays offense came to life with a pair of homers off Pedro Strop in the eighth - a Kelly Johnson solo shot and an Evan Longoria two-run homer - to close within 5-4. Tampa Bay had five homers all year in 12 games before adding three tonight.
After the two homers brought Tampa Bay within one run, Brian Matusz and Darren O’Day combined to get out of the eighth and Jim Johnson pitched the ninth for his sixth save in six chances with three coming against the Rays.
The Orioles improved to 2-2 at home, 6-4 against the AL East and 2-3 in one-run games. They have now won 97 consecutive games when leading after seven innings, dating to August 2011.