Chris Tillman had an off night. But the Orioles’ offense just kept on coming. They got back in the game by bashing homers, but then used a few humdrum singles to go-ahead.
Down 6-5 to the last of the seventh, the Orioles scored twice to go ahead and went on to beat Tampa Bay 8-6 tonight. They sweep a day-night doubleheader at Camden Yards.
Joey Rickard doubled off Erasmo Ramirez to start the seventh. Adam Jones’ single to right scored him for the 6-6 tie. Later in the inning, a Chris Davis RBI single to right off left-hander Xavier Cedeno made it 7-6.
Brad Brach preserved the one-run lead in the top of the eighth, but it was not easy. He walked the first two batters. After a strikeout and flyout, he fanned Evan Longoria on an 88 mph changeup to strand the runners. Zach Britton pitched the ninth to record his 23rd save in 23 chances, the 96th save of his career.
Matt Wieters hit his second homer of the game, a solo shot to right, to provide an insurance run and 8-6 lead in the eighth. This was Wieter’s fifth career multi-homer game and first since Sept. 16, 2012.
Much earlier, after the Orioles had shut out Tampa Bay 5-0 this afternoon, the Rays avoided a shutout four batters into tonight’s game. Logan Morrison’s RBI single scored Logan Forsythe, who doubled, and it was 1-0 Rays. Hank Conger homered off Tillman in the second and Tampa Bay added two runs in the third for the 4-0 lead.
The O’s scored off Jake Odorizzi in the third as Nolan Reimold doubled and scored on Rickard’s single. That made it 4-1, and when Wieters hit a two-run homer onto Eutaw Street, the Rays’ lead was 4-3.
Wieters hit his eighth homer of this year and his second career Eutaw Street homer. The first came June 29, 2012 against Cleveland. It was the third O’s Eutaw Street homer of this year - earlier Pedro Alvarez and Ryan Flaherty drove homers there. It was the 85th Eutaw Street homer in OPACY history and 37th by an Oriole.
Tampa quickly got those two runs back in the top of the fifth though on Brad Miller’s RBI double and Oswaldo Arcia’s sac fly. It was 6-3.
The O’s rallied again. Jones hit a solo homer in the fifth to make it 6-4 Rays. It was No. 15 for Jones and his 10th homer his last 22 games. When Davis homered an inning later, Tampa Bay’s lead was cut to 6-5 in the sixth. That was homer No. 17 for Davis and ended an 11-game homerless run for the O’s first baseman.
Tillman gave up 10 hits and six runs over five innings as his ERA jumped from 3.11 to 3.52. The hits and runs allowed tied his season high. But he avoided his second loss and what would have been his first since April 14 when the Orioles rallied.
Tampa Bay broke out on offense after entering this game with a nine-game losing streak and just 18 runs scored in that span. But the Rays still lost for 10th straight game, and tomorrow the Orioles can sweep this four-game series.
The Orioles are 44-30 with four wins in a row and six in the last eight games. They are now a season-best 14 games over the .500 mark. They are 15-6 at home against AL East teams and 30-13 on the year at home.
The Orioles have scored 47 runs their last seven games, hitting 12 home runs. Over their last 23 games, they have hit 48 homers.
On Sunday afternoon at 1:35 p.m., Tyler Wilson (3-5, 4.19 ERA) pitches against left-hander Drew Smyly (2-7, 4.78 ERA).