Homers and more Hays hits help Orioles to 8-6 win over Rays (updated)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Orioles couldn’t walk inside the dome today until they let the dust settle from the latest roster shakeup.

Make another change in the bullpen. Fiddle again with the backup catcher and 40-man roster.

Listen as the club creates beautiful music. Cover ears when it gets bad. Hold breath until it’s over.

The bats made loud sounds in the first two innings, with home runs by Aaron Hicks and Anthony Santander pushing the Orioles to a big early lead. It almost disappeared while the bullpen was rocked in the sixth, but Yennier Cano got three outs and Félix Bautista the last four for his 20th save in an 8-6 victory over the Rays before an announced crowd of 20,906 at Tropicana Field that included sections of orange behind the visiting dugout.

They, too, were loud.

Tyler Glasnow didn’t allow more than two runs in his first six career starts against the Orioles, but he trailed 6-0 by the second. Ryan O’Hearn homered on reliever Shawn Armstrong’s first pitch and Kyle Bradish struck out eight batters in five innings, but the Orioles had to withstand a furious rally to improve their record to 45-27 and move within four games of first place in the American League East.

When is it ever easy here? The Orioles went 2-7 in St. Petersburg last summer and are 95-125 all-time. Doesn’t matter who’s wearing the uniform.

Manager Brandon Hyde didn't allow himself to get comfortable with a 7-0 lead.

"Not with the Rays," he said. "It's a really good club, it's a great offense. No runs are enough. ... Fortunately, we held on."

As the lead shrank, previous Orioles teams might have folded under the pressure. They weren't equipped to withstand it.

"I haven't had Cano and Bautista in the past," Hyde said. "That's helpful."

The Rays had won their first 12 home series openers, the best mark since the Tigers went 13-0 in 2013. Tonight marked their season-high third loss in a row.

"They're the No. 1 team in baseball right now for a reason," Bradish said. "They string together good ABs, and with that team, you've kind of got to step on their throats. I let them back in there in the fifth, but we were able to close it down."

Bryan Baker replaced Bradish and was charged with three runs in the sixth. He allowed a run-scoring single to Isaac Paredes and left the game with two on and one out.

Hyde and pitching coach Chris Holt wore a path to the mound.

Mike Baumann, inheriting his 29th and 30th runners of the season, allowed a two-out single to Yandy Díaz that cut the lead to 7-4, and a walk loaded the bases. Danny Coulombe, who’s inherited 25, surrendered a two-run single to pinch-hitter Manuel Margot.

Toronto’s Tim Mayza began the day leading the majors with 30 inherited runners.

Coulombe retired the first two batters in the seventh, and Cano and Bautista took care of the rest. Hyde just needed to get the lead to them.

Bautista threw one pitch and stranded an inherited runner in the eighth, and he finished off the Rays in the ninth after hitting Randy Arozarena to start the inning.

Hyde preaches the importance of tack-on runs, and the Orioles got one in the eighth on Austin Hays’ second double of the night and Hicks’ single. Hays went 3-for-5, his fifth multi-hit game in a row, and he leads the AL with a .327 average.

"Huge tack-on by Hicksy. Always love the tack-ons," Hyde said.

"To make it a two-run game and give us a smidge of breathing room is always nice."

Asked whether the home run or single was most important to him, Hicks chose the eighth inning hit.

"That's a big spot right there to add on insurance," he said, "especially with our closer in the game right there. It was big, so it makes me happy."

Santander had an RBI single in the first inning after Gunnar Henderson’s first-pitch double in his return from the stomach flu. Hays singled with two outs and Hicks walloped a slider, dropping his bat and watching the ball crash into the right field seats.

Glasnow threw 32 pitches in the inning. He retired the first two batters in the second, appearing to settle down, but Adley Rutschman walked and Santander hit his 11th home run.

Santander also admired his work, with Glasnow’s curveball leaving the bat at 106.2 mph and traveling 405 feet to right. The bloop single in the first registered 75.7 mph. The damaging blows weren’t duplicates but they still hurt.

Armstrong, the former Orioles reliever, replaced Glasnow after 4 1/3 innings and O’Hearn ambushed him, homering on the first pitch for a 7-0 lead. Glasnow struck out seven batters, but his six runs left their marks.

O’Hearn is leaving his own with the Orioles. He’s hit six home runs and is slashing .345 with a 1.015 OPS in 30 games.

Glasnow was 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA and 0.865 WHIP in six career starts against the Orioles, the most wins against any opponent. He struck out 48 in 34 2/3 innings. But the hold on them was lost.

"We just got good pitches to hit and we didn't miss them," Hicks said.

"It's always huge to be able to put pressure on a guy like that early in the game. To be able to put four runs up in the first inning and two in the second, it's big. What we wanted to do was try to get him out of the game and then get into that bullpen. We kept fighting, we kept getting in there, and did what we had to to win a game."

Only Toronto’s Todd Stottlemyre (nine), Kansas City’s Danny Duffy (eight) and Detroit’s John Doherty (seven) had longer streaks of allowing two runs or fewer in their first starts against the Orioles, per STATS.  

"We took some really good swings and got him with the long ball there," Hyde said after his club won its third straight game over Tampa Bay for the first time since 2020. "Hicksy with the great swing there on the slider, Santander on the curveball. So, really happy with our at-bats the first couple of innings, especially the first inning, and those two guys provided the power for us against him."

Hays doubled in the fifth inning and has six multi-hit games in the last seven.

Bradish didn’t allow a hit until Luke Raley’s leadoff single in the fourth. He walked Paredes and Taylor Walls in the third and struck out the next three batters. Seven of his eight strikeouts through the fourth came on his slider.

"I was mixing it early and late for putaway," Bradish said.

"My last outing it was a lot off the plate, and I think I was in zone with it early and then that expanded it."

The tough luck arrived in the fifth, after Bradish hit Paredes and Francisco Mejía doubled with one out to reduce the lead to 7-1.

Wander Franco had an RBI single with two outs on a popup down the left field line, the ball glancing off Jorge Mateo’s glove as he attempted a sliding catch. Raley kept the inning alive with a sharp one-hopper that eluded Adam Frazier, the play scored a hit, but Arozarena flied out on Bradish’s 92nd pitch.

Bradish earned his first career win against a division team in 18 tries.

"It got mentioned to me after my last outing against Toronto," he said. "I don't look too much into personal wins. Just as long as the team is winning, but definitely feels good to get that first win against an AL East opponent."

Frazier ran down Arozarena’s fly ball in shallow center field to end the sixth and keep the Orioles ahead. They got an insurance run in the eighth and the usual boost from the back end of their bullpen.

The Orioles won their 23rd road game and are 17-7 this year in series openers. The music was cranked again in the clubhouse.

"I just think we've just got to keep playing good baseball," said Hicks, who's slashing .340/.444/.604 in 17 games with the Orioles. "You can't really worry about what the other teams are doing. You've just got to go out and play hard and get as many wins as you can and win as many series as you can, and then check out more of the results in September."

* Triple-A Norfolk was rained out tonight in Nashville, delaying the first rehab games for Cedric Mullins and Ryan Mountcastle.

Coby Mayo hit his 12th home run for Double-A Bowie, a two-run shot in the third inning. He also delivered his 22nd double. Billy Cook hit a two-run homer in the eighth.

Jean Pinto allowed one run and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. Conner Loeprich tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings.

Creed Willems hit his fourth home run for High-A Aberdeen, a three-run shot in the eighth inning. Jackson Holliday drove in three runs.

Single-A Delmarva’s Elio Prado hit a two-run homer and Trendon Craig had a solo shot. Jared Beck allowed one run and one hit in three innings.

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