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 [email protected].com.

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. Stroud: Bucs need to stop digging holes on road


    TAMPA — Okay, all you road scholars, why do the Bucs keep falling behind in games not played at Raymond James Stadium?

    HARVARD SQUARED: Tight end Cameron Brate catches a TD from Ryan Fitzpatrick.
  2. Topkin: A busy offseason for Rays approaching as postseason winds down

    The Heater

    Tuesday's opening of the World Series means the end of the postseason is in sight and that the offseason maneuvering, which starts five days after the final out, can soon evolve from talk to action.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi smiles at Minnesota Twins' Joe Mauer after Mauer broke up Odorizzi's no-hit bid with a single during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
  3. Matt Baker's takeaways from Florida State-Louisville


    1. One of the many hard-to-believe stats about FSU's underperforming defense: DE Brian Burns led all freshmen nationally with 9 ½ sacks last year; his first one this season came midway through the second quarter Saturday.

    TALLAHASSEE, FL - OCTOBER 21: Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Louisville Cardinals runs the ball into the endzone for a touchdown during their game against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) 775042617
  4. Late fumble, field goal send Florida State to another loss


    TALLAHASSEE — Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher didn't have an explanation for the turning point in Saturday's 31-28 last-second loss to Louisville.

    Louisville's Lamar Jackson gets past Florida State's Matthew Thomas to score in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Tallahassee Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) FLSC102
  5. Bucs-Bills: Tampa Bay's fatal habit of falling behind


    TAMPA — Okay, all you road scholars, why do the Bucs keep falling behind in games not played at Raymond James Stadium?

    Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) recovers a fumble during the first half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.