Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays hold on for fifth win in six games, 9-6 over Baltimore Orioles

BALTIMORE — There was a lot to talk about after the Rays' 9-6 win over the Orioles on Sunday at Camden Yards, from Evan Longoria's inside-the-park home run to Johnny Damon's club record to Wade Davis' bounce-back start.

But for all Tampa Bay did well, manager Joe Maddon said it could have been a "totally different" game had reliever Adam Russell (with a helping hand from Sean Rodriguez) not successfully managed a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the seventh.

"That," Maddon said, "was a huge moment."

With the Rays up 7-3 and the heart of the Orioles order coming up, Russell shook off a single by J.J. Hardy to get Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and Vladimir Guerrero to ground out. The Orioles scored two, but it could have been a lot worse, especially if Rodriguez had not made two nice plays at second, including bare-handing a Jones grounder off Russell's glove. With closer Kyle Farnsworth (stomach flu) unavailable and reliever Joel Peralta only to be used in an emergency, it was all hands on deck to stave off an Orioles comeback.

"The bullpen came in and basically said, 'We're not having it,' " Rodriguez said.

In picking up their fifth win in six games, the Rays (35-30) stayed within four of the AL East-leading Red Sox and moved to 6-4 on an exhausting 11-game, cross-country road trip. "That's tremendous," Longoria said.

Tampa Bay headed out Sunday night for Detroit, its fourth and final stop on a 7,000-plus mile character- and confidence-building trek in which the team has overcome a stomach bug spreading through the clubhouse and two cross-country flights while earning two extra-inning wins.

"I know we can't wait to get home," said Damon, a 17-year veteran. "It's been one of the more grueling ones I've ever been a part of in all my years."

Said Longoria: "It has been a tester."

The Rays passed Sunday's test by jumping out to a 3-0 lead, chasing Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz after just 11/3. Matusz, making his third start since coming off the disabled list (intercoastal strain), didn't have the usual zip on his fastball, and Damon said, "We made him pay."

Damon's leadoff homer helped him tie the club record for consecutive games reaching base safely (37), Justin Ruggiano picked up three hits and Longoria's two-run, inside-the-park homer in the eighth provided key insurance runs as the Rays had their biggest outburst since scoring 15 against the Twins on April 28.

Davis settled down after a rocky first, when he gave up back-to-back, two-out solo homers to Jones and Guerrero, to go six innings, picking up his fourth victory in five starts at Camden Yards while snapping his five-start winless streak. "I saw a little bit of improvement," Maddon said. "But he still has ways to go to arrive at the level his skills indicate."

Four relievers combined for the final nine outs, and just in the nick of time. With a severe thunderstorm rolling in and ominous dark clouds overhead during the ninth, J.P. Howell said home-plate umpire Jim Wolf whistled to get his attention, saying, "Hurry up."

Once Hardy flew out, Rodriguez said he and second-base umpire Jim Reynolds were saying, "Double play!" And when Markakis' hard-hit grounder bounced off the mound right to shortstop Reid Brignac, setting up the game-ending double play, Rodriguez said Reynolds yelled, "Yeah!"

And so did the Rays.

Joe Smith can be reached at

Rays 9

Orioles 6

Tampa Bay Rays hold on for fifth win in six games, 9-6 over Baltimore Orioles 06/12/11 [Last modified: Monday, June 13, 2011 7:34am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021


    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  2. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb made mistakes on back-to-back pitches to the first two Angels hitters Tuesday, allowing homers to Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout, but otherwise gave the Rays another solid outing, working into the eighth and scattering seven hits.

  4. Rays journal: Brad Miller won't return from DL when eligible

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — 2B Brad Miller (left abdominal strain) will not return from the 10-day disabled list Friday as he hoped. While he took ground balls Tuesday, he has yet to resume running.

    Rays second baseman Brad Miller, left, with infielder Tim Beckham, says he’s letting his left abdominal strain “cool down” before testing it by running.
  5. USF baseball rallies to beat Tulane in AAC tournament opener


    CLEARWATER — With Tulane runners on first and second and two out in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday, USF's dugout watched as burly American Athletic Conference co-player of the year Hunter Williams' fly to left went deep.

    USF outfielder Chris Chatfield is congratulated by third-base coach Chris Cates after hitting a three-run homer in the third inning, tying the score at 3.