Orioles stage four-run eighth-inning rally to erase 3-0 hole and beat Rays
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Baltimore Orioles know they have to win almost every game remaining in order to reach the playoffs.
"It's not about all the other games anymore," Adam Jones said after hit a go-ahead, two-run single with two outs in a four-run eighth inning lifted the Orioles over the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 Thursday night. "If we lose, we're not going to get there. If we win, that's all we can do."
Baltimore won for the seventh time in nine games and closed within 4 1/2 games of Houston for the AL's second wild card with 16 games left.
The Orioles trailed 3-0 when Jonathan Schoop singled leading off the eighth against Alex Colome (6-5), who relieved Matt Moore at the start of the inning. Pinch-hitters Gerardo Parra and Steve Clevenger singled with two outs, with Clevenger's hit driving in Baltimore's first run, and Manny Machado singled to cut the deficit to 3-2. Jones' bases-loaded hit followed an intentional walk of Chris Davis.
"We played until 27 outs instead of 21," Jones said. "Until that 27th out is made, we're going to play hard. That's how the makeup of this team is."
Chaz Roe (4-2) pitched 1 1-3 hitless innings, and Darren O'Day retired three straight batters for his third save, sending Tampa Bay to its fifth loss in six games.
John Jaso homered in the third off Chris Tillman, a drive that landed on the C-ring catwalk above right field and never came down. It was the fifth home run at Tropicana Field that did not come down, the first since Boston's David Ortiz hit one on Sept. 17, 2008.
Moore gave up two hits while striking out nine in seven innings, his ninth start this season following Tommy John surgery and his third start after a stint in the minors.
"I think it's absolutely something I can build on and continue to look forward," said Moore, who had gone a club-record nine straight starts without pitching beyond the fifth inning. "Having 93 pitches and having all those zeroes is something positive to focus on heading to the next one."
Tampa Bay has 30 scoreless outings by starters for the second straight season, the first team to accomplish that feat since the Chicago Cubs did it four consecutive times from 1906-09.
Tim Beckham and Kevin Kiermaier had consecutive run-scoring infield singles in the sixth for the Rays and James Loney had three hits in a second straight game.
Tillman gave up three runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. He is 0-4 with a 7.76 ERA in his last six starts.
FIRST TIME IN 60 YEARS
After the current four-game series, the Rays and Orioles will have played 13 games at Tropicana Filed, the most regular-season games between two teams at one venue since the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates played 13 times at the Polo Grounds in 1955. Due to unrest in the city of Baltimore, Major League Baseball moved a three-game series in May from Camden Yards to St. Petersburg.
Orioles: RHP Miguel Gonzalez (right shoulder) might be ready to return in seven to 10 days.
Rays: LHP Xavier Cedeno (left side) was sharp in a simulated game. ... LHP Jake McGee (left knee) struggled with control in a simulated game but said his injured left knee is nearing 100 percent. He is scheduled for another simulated game Sunday. ... SS Asdrubal Cabrera (knee) could resume baseball activities Saturday.
Orioles: Rookie Tyler Wilson (2-1) is being inserted into the rotation and is to start Friday night.
Rays: LHP Drew Smyly (2-2), coming off an 11-strikeout start Sunday against Boston, faces Wilson.