BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles have been depending on home runs all season long, so it came as no surprise that the long ball decided a big game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
What made Sunday's victory unusual was the final score: 2-1, Orioles.
Mark Trumbo hit his major league-leading 43rd homer to break an eighth-inning tie and provide Baltimore with a much-needed win.
Manny Machado also connected for the Orioles, who lead the majors with 236 home runs. Baltimore salvaged a split of the four-game series against the last-place Rays and improved to 16-47 when scoring three runs or fewer.
"We needed two runs to win today because we pitched real well," manager Buck Showalter said, "and we got them."
Baltimore came in trailing first-place Boston by three games in the AL East and tied with Toronto for the two AL wild cards. The Red Sox and Orioles begin a four-game series at Camden Yards on Monday night.
"I know our guys will embrace the competition and the opportunity that they've earned to (win) for our city late in the year," Showalter said.
After missing two straight games with back spasms, Trumbo returned with a flourish. With one out in the eighth, the Orioles' cleanup hitter drove the first pitch from Ryan Garton (1-1) far over the center-field wall, his career-high 101st RBI of the season.
"This time of year, someone's got to step up at some point in the game," Trumbo said. "It was a well-played game, but we just needed to get that hit there at the end. So it was nice."
Brad Brach (10-3) pitched the eighth and Zach Britton got three outs for his 45th save in 45 tries. After Tampa Bay got a runner to second with one out against Britton, the lefty struck out pinch-hitter Logan Forsythe and retired Alexei Ramirez on a grounder to shortstop.
Corey Dickerson homered for the Rays, extending the team's streak of games with a long ball to 14. The drive put Tampa Bay ahead 1-0 in the fifth inning.
Despite giving up only one run and five hits over six innings, Rays starter Jake Odorizzi ended up with his major league-leading 16th no-decision of the season. The right-hander is 6-1 since July 10.
"Can't be happier with the way Jake battled today," manager Kevin Cash said. "It was quiet offensively, for whatever reason."
Orioles starter Wade Miley allowed one single over four shutout innings, then left with a mild muscle strain in his upper back after warming up in the fifth.
"I felt something grab in my shoulder blade area," Miley said. "It kind of stayed there and didn't go away. In between innings, it kind of got a little worse."
That put an end to perhaps his best performance since joining Baltimore on July 31. The left-hander was 1-5 with an 8.41 ERA in eight starts as an Oriole.
Miley was replaced by Darren O'Day, who was activated from the disabled list before the game. The sidearmer's first pitch since Aug. 11 was hit by Dickerson into the left-field seats.
Tampa Bay loaded the bases with one out in the sixth against Donnie Hart before Dickerson hit into a double play.
Machado led off the bottom half with his career-high 36th home run and fourth in 32 career at-bats against Odorizzi.
It's a steal: Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier stole his 18th consecutive base in the fourth inning. He's 20 of 22. The Orioles have 17 steals as a team, on 28 attempts.
Rays: 1B Nick Franklin (hamstring) hasn't played since Thursday and is "still pretty sore," according to Cash. ... C Bobby Wilson left the team because of a death in the family.
Orioles: To make room for O'Day (shoulder), 1B Steve Pearce (forearm) was moved to the 60-day DL, ending his season. Baltimore also purchased the contract of INF Trey Mancini from Triple-A Norfolk.
Rays: Tampa Bay is off Monday. Unbeaten in his last 10 starts, LHP Drew Smyly (7-11, 4.98 ERA) starts Tuesday night at home against the Yankees.
Orioles: Dylan Bundy (9-5, 3.88) faces Boston's Rick Porcello (20-4, 3.12) on Monday night.