BALTIMORE (AP) The music in the clubhouse was cranked to a deafening level, and almost everyone in the room was either laughing or wearing a broad smile.
For only the second time in a span of two miserable weeks, the Baltimore Orioles won a game. That – more than the fashion in which the victory was achieved – was clearly cause for celebration.
Chris Davis homered on a 3-0 pitch from Matt Andriese leading off the 11th inning, and the Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-6 on Wednesday night to snap a six-game losing streak.
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It was the second homer of the game for Davis, who has 38 this season.
Down 6-4 in the ninth, Baltimore appeared doomed to its 13th loss in 14 games. Looking for his 34th save, Brad Boxberger walked Matt Wieters before Jonathan Schoop hit a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left.
Baltimore was 0-61 when trailing after eight innings.
”I said before the game that we just needed a win – whether it was clean, dirty, scrapping,” Wieters said. ”Right now we just need wins, and really that’s going to be our motto for the rest of the year: Just get wins any way, anyhow.”
In the 11th, Andriese (3-5) missed on three straight pitches before throwing one down the middle that Davis hit deep into center field. He was doused in water and smothered by hugs as he concluded his trip around the bases.
”We’re scratching and clawing, trying to get a win,” he said. ”That was a big one for us.”
Andriese worked around the plate until the ill-fated pitch.
”I didn’t want to give him anything good to hit, but I fell behind 3-0,” the right-hander said. ”I thought he would be hacking on 3 and 0 and tried to get a pitch on the outer half, but, no, it kind of ran into his barrel there.”
Brad Brach (5-2) pitched two hitless innings for the Orioles, who averted a three-game sweep.
Evan Longoria hit two home runs and J.P. Arencibia had a solo shot for the Rays, who are 2-11 in extra innings. It was a galling defeat for Tampa Bay, which is trying desperately to get back into the playoff hunt.
”You want a sweep when you can, especially in our situation,” said Boxberger, who took his fifth blown save of the season. ”For me, not being able to hold that kind of lead is not expected. So, it’s just one of those where it’s tough.”
Tampa Bay went up 5-4 in the sixth when Arencibia and Grady Sizemore hit successive doubles off rookie Mychal Givens.
Longoria added a bases-empty drive off Darren O’Day in the ninth. It was his second multihomer game of the season and 15th of his career.
But Boxberger couldn’t hold the lead, and Tampa Bay’s modest three-game winning streak ended.
Although the scoring didn’t begin until the third inning, there was plenty of excitement early. Steve Pearce robbed Brandon Guyer of a first-inning homer with a leaping catch at the wall in left, and Adam Jones threw out Logan Forsythe trying to score on a single to center in the second.
Tampa Bay went up 4-0 in the third, the key blows a solo shot by Arencibia and a two-run drive by Longoria, his 200th home run. It was the second homer in two games for Arencibia, who didn’t have any this season before Tuesday night.
Baltimore pulled even in the bottom half. Manny Machado hit an RBI single and scored on a double by Gerardo Parra before Davis capped the uprising with a two-run drive to center.
The four runs were more than the Orioles scored in each of their previous six games.
Rays: OF Steven Souza Jr. (left hand fracture) will take batting practice with the team for a few days, then go on a short rehabilitation stint with Triple-A Durham before possibly rejoining the team, manager Kevin Cash said. … CF Kevin Kiermaier returned after missing Tuesday’s game with a right ankle sprain.
Orioles: RHP Miguel Gonzalez will miss time with shoulder inflammation and tendinitis, but said he was ”excited” that an MRI showed no structural damage.
Rays: After taking Thursday off, the Rays send Jake Odorizzi to the mound Friday night to start a three-game series at Yankee Stadium.
Orioles: Baltimore gets Thursday off before launching a three-game series in Toronto on Friday night.