BALTIMORE (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays don’t seem to mind being behind late in the game.
In fact, they’re becoming quite adept at staging stirring rallies.
Matt Joyce hit a go-ahead two-run double
in a six-run ninth inning that lifted the Rays to a 10-6 victory over
the Orioles on Saturday, ending Baltimore’s franchise-record streak of
109 straight wins when leading after seven innings.
“That’s kind of been our identity from
the beginning of the year,” Rays third baseman Evan Longoria said.
“We’ve really done a good job throughout the game of continuing to tack
on runs, and even when we’ve been down early in games, finding a way to
put together good at-bats and score runs.”
Joyce also homered and finished 3 for 5
with five RBIs for the Rays, who posted a season-best third straight
road victory, all of them come-from-behind wins.
“We believe in each other, and then
you’re able to do those things,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “If you
stop believing, if you don’t think it can’t happen, then it never will.
If you think it can happen, then it shall. And that’s pretty much what
this group’s been about.”
But this one came against a closer that
had been virtually unbeatable until this week and a team that’s been
hard to overcome when taking a lead to the eighth.
“Their track record after seven innings
has spoken for itself,” Longoria said. “They’ve been really good late
in the game. And Jim Johnson has been as good as they come. To be able
to get to him and then tack a couple more on and be able to win a game
like that, especially here in this hostile environment, is really big.”
Trailing 6-4, Kelly Johnson hit a
one-out homer off the Orioles’ Jim Johnson (1-4), whose club-record
streak of 35 straight saves ended Tuesday.
Johnson then loaded the bases on two
walks and a hit before Joyce hit a two-run double to the right-center
gap for a 7-6 lead. Ben Zobrist followed with a two-run double off
Darren O’Day, who later issued a bases-loaded walk to Luke Scott.
After two straight blown saves, Johnson
wasn’t questioning himself or talking about a slump. In fact, he knew
exactly what went wrong and vowed to fix it.
“Not getting strike one is a good place
to start,” Johnson said. “Pitching behind, just not throwing quality
pitches. It kind of snowballed back and didn’t obviously make the pitch I
needed to. It’s just one of those days where it just didn’t work.”
Adam Jones and Chris Davis homered for the Orioles, who have lost a season-high four straight.
“We’re not clicking great right now,
but unfortunately you go through little spells in a season like we
play,” Baltimore left fielder Nate McLouth said. “Like I said, there’s
no sense of sitting here and beating yourselves up about it. Wipe it
clean and try to get it done tomorrow.”
Alex Torres (1-0) worked four hitless innings for the victory.
The Orioles sent 10 men to the plate in the first inning and took a 4-0 lead against Roberto Hernandez.
McLouth led off with a single, moved to
second on a groundout and scored when Nick Markakis doubled over the
head of Joyce. Jones then ripped a line drive homer to left off an 0-2
pitch and Davis followed with a shot to left-center.
Jair Jurrjens, whose contract was
purchased before the game from Triple-A Norfolk, retired the first seven
hitters he faced before allowing successive doubles to Jose Molina and
Yunel Escobar. Molina’s ball bounced off the top of the wall in center,
prompting Maddon to seek a video review, which upheld the original call.
Later in the third, Joyce hit a two-run
homer onto the flag court in right field, his seventh of the season,
cutting the deficit to 4-3.
Hernandez departed after hitting Davis
with a pitch to lead off the bottom of the third. The right-hander
allowed five runs and eight hits in two-plus innings, with nine of the
14 batters he faced reaching base.
Reliever Cesar Ramos struck out Matt
Wieters swinging, but gave up a run-scoring double to J.J. Hardy for a
5-3 Orioles lead.
In the fourth, McLouth led off with a
single, stole second, moved to third on Markakis’ single to center and
scored on Jones’ broken-bat fielder’s choice grounder.
The Rays got within 6-4 in the fifth,
but lost Molina in the process. Molina pulled up with a tight left
hamstring after a leadoff double and was replaced by Jose Lobaton, who
scored on Joyce’s two-out double.
Jurrjens gave up four runs and six hits — all for extra bases — over five innings.
NOTES: After the game, the Orioles optioned 2B Ryan Flaherty to Norfolk. A
corresponding move will be announced Sunday. … Hardy has hit in 13
straight games. … Longoria doubled in the ninth, extending his hitting
streak to 12 games, matching his career high. … When Jurrjens made
his major league debut on Aug. 15, 2007, at Cleveland, he was opposed by
Hernandez, then known as Fausto Carmona. … Hernandez failed to go 5
1-3 innings for the first time in eight 2013 starts. He walked none and
struck out one. … The Orioles also recalled RHP Jake Arrieta from
Norfolk, optioned RHP Alex Burnett to Triple-A, placed OF Nolan Reimold
(right hamstring strain) on the 15-day DL and moved 2B Brian Roberts to
the 60-day DL. … Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson turned 76
on Saturday. … Maddon said RHP Jake Odorizzi will start Monday, taking
the turn of injured LHP David Price. The Rays will make a roster move
to add Odorizzi to the 25-man roster Sunday.