After blown save, O’s rally in 10th to beat Giants 5-2

There was a blown save, but not a blown game.

After San Francisco tied the game at 2-2 off Jim Johnson in the last of the ninth, the Orioles scored three times in the top of the 10th to beat the Giants 5-2 in the series opener.

A Hunter Pence RBI single tied it in the ninth as Johnson issued a single, a walk and a single to the first three batters he faced, suffering his seventh blown save. But, then he kept the game tied, pitching out of further trouble as the game moved to the 10th.

With one out, Manny Machado came up with his second double of the game, hitting one off lefty Javier Lopez, a pitcher with an ERA of 1.32 over 49 games. With two down and first base open, the Giants chose to walk Adam Jones so Lopez could go lefty versus lefty against Chris Davis. He has held lefty batters to a .169 average this year.

But, Davis foiled that strategy big time with a clutch two-run double for a 4-2 lead. For Davis, that double was RBIs Nos. 107 and 108. Matt Wieters followed with an RBI single and a 5-2 lead.

The blown save denied Chris Tillman win No. 15, which would have made him the O’s first 15-game winner since Erik Bedard in 2006. Tillman went eight innings, allowing just four hits, one run, one walk and a career high nine strikeouts. He threw 112 pitches, 80 for strikes. His ERA is 3.73 in 23 starts.

The blown save also kept Tillman from becoming the first O’s starter to post 11 wins over a 12-start span since Steve Stone in 1980.

But, in winning the game, the Orioles are now 13-1 in Tillman’s last 14 starts since May 24, and 18-5 in his starts for the season. This was the third time on the year that Tillman pitched eight innings.

The O’s rally in the 10th actually made Johnson the winning pitcher. Tommy Hunter pitched a 1-2-3 last of the 10th to get his third save of 2013.

The Orioles took a 1-0 lead on Jones’ two-out RBI single in the first inning. J.J. Hardy led off the second with a homer, his 20th, for a 2-0 edge. Hardy became the third Orioles shortstop to have three or more consecutive seasons of 20-plus homers, joining Miguel Tejada and Cal Ripken Jr.

The Giants scored on a long homer to center by Brandon Belt in the sixth inning. That snapped a streak of 14 batters in a row retired by Tillman to that point.

With the victory, the Orioles improved to 31-26 on the road, 24-14 in the first game of a series, 8-4 against the National League and 64-51 overall.

Postgame notes:

* On this road trip so far, Jones has gone 9-for-13 over three games with a homer, three RBIs and five runs. He has raised his average from .292 to .303.

* Over the last four games, O’s pitching has allowed just nine runs and recorded 34 strikeouts. O’s starters have pitched to an ERA of 2.67 in recording four consecutive quality starts.

* The O’s improved to 6-3 in extra-inning games.

* Hardy has homered in back-to-back games for the third time this season. He also did it May 4-5 vs. the Angels and May 15 and 17 against San Diego and Tampa Bay.

* Machado had just one double over his last 26 games and came up with two Friday night. Machado is batting .367 (11-for-30) during a seven-game batting streak.

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