The Baltimore Orioles broke out of a brief offense funk against one of the top pitchers in the American League.
J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones, Alexi Casilla and Nick Markakis had two RBIs apiece and the Orioles hammered eight-game winner Matt Moore in beating the Tampa Bay Rays 10-7 on Sunday.
Baltimore, held to one run and six hits in losing the first two games of the series, had 16 hits Sunday.
”Today we just came out aggressive,” Hardy said.
Moore (8-2) allowed career highs of nine runs and 12 hits over five innings in his second consecutive loss. The left-hander was coming off a subpar start last Tuesday in which he gave up six runs over two-plus inning in a 10-1 loss at Detroit.
”The 8-0 start is obviously gone,” Moore said of his undefeated stretch. ”It’s something that, maybe, was a bit misleading I guess you could say. It definitely shows how our team is playing.”
Moore said when he was getting ahead in the count Sunday that he just didn’t make the needed pitch.
”Not bad stuff, but the location was not good,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ”They were not missing anything. This whole season, really, he has not been a command kind of a pitcher. Earlier in the season he might have been making mistakes that were not being hit. It’s not like it’s entirely different than early, it’s just that the command right now is a little off with his off-speed stuff. They were in bad spots.”
Chris Tillman (6-2) gave up three runs and four hits in six innings. The Baltimore right-hander has won all five of his road decisions this year.
”You’ve got to go out there and pitch like it’s a 0-0 ball game,” Tillman said. ”That’s one of the learning curves in this game. You’ve got to go out there no matter what and throw.”
Jim Johnson entered in the ninth with two on and two outs and gave up an RBI single to Jose Labaton that got Tampa Bay to 10-7 – they trailed 9-1 in the fourth.
The right-hander then retired Kelly Johnson on an infield pop fly to get his 21st save.
”American League East is tough,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. ”You’ve got to play nine innings, which our guys did. They kept adding on, or trying to, because it’s hard in the major leagues. Things are going to happen.”
Johnson had a run-scoring hit in the sixth for the Rays, who lost for just the fourth time in the last 14 games.
The Orioles took a 2-0 lead in the first on RBI doubles by Hardy and Jones. Manny Machado was hit by a pitch near the knee, but stayed in the game and scored from first on Hardy’s hit.
Casilla hit a sacrifice fly, Machado drove in a run with his 27th double this season, and Hardy had a run-scoring double as Baltimore went up 5-0 in the second. Machado has a hit in 24 of his last 26 road games.
”You just hope you’re not catching him when he’s on top of game,” Showalter said of Moore. ”When he is, it doesn’t usually work out for you. We were fortunate to be on the mistakes he made.”
Tampa Bay got one run back in the bottom of the second when Evan Longoria doubled and later scored on Desmond Jennings’ infield single. Jennings was caught attempting to steal second later in the inning when Machado made a nifty spinning tag.
Casilla had an RBI single and Markakis hit a sacrifice fly during a three-run third to extend the Baltimore advantage to 8-1. Markakis also had a run-scoring double off Cesar Ramos in the seventh.
Jones hit a solo homer to put Baltimore ahead 9-1 in the fourth.
Ben Zobrist hit his first homer since May 1, a solo shot in the fourth off Tillman.
Sam Fuld helped cut the Rays deficit to 10-6 during the eighth on his first homer since May 27, 2011, a two-run shot against Brian Matusz, who gave up three runs and five hits in two-thirds of an inning. Luke Scott also had an RBI single in the inning.
NOTES: Orioles slugger Chris Davis was hitless in 12 at-bats in the series and saw his average drop from .357 to .338. … Baltimore 2B Brian Roberts (right hamstring) will continue his rehab program with the team. Roberts, who has been working out at the Orioles’ complex in Sarasota, Fla., hopes to return before the All-Star break. … Longoria was the DH, getting a day off from playing third on the artificial turf. … An MRI on Baltimore RHP Steve Johnson showed a slight left oblique strain. He went on the disabled list June 5. … Orioles pitching prospect Dylan Bundy (elbow and forearm soreness) is scheduled to resume throwing and make 25 throws at 60 feet on Monday.