Hardy's walk-off sends O's past Rays
BALTIMORE -- J.J. Hardy's two-out single gave the Orioles a 2-1 walk-off win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night.
Hardy, facing the third Rays reliever of the inning in Steve Geltz, poked a ball into left field to score pinch-runner Everth Cabrera and seal in the victory.
"J.J., he's very calm," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He hits in those situations like he plays defense. Very calm and efficient."
The inning got started on Travis Snider's single and, two outs later, red-hot Chris Davis moved Cabrera to third with a single to right. Davis also homered off reliever Kevin Jepsen in the seventh inning to put the O's on the board.
Neither starter factored into the decision though both were excellent. Rays righty Nate Karns held the O's to one hit over six scoreless frames, while Miguel Gonzalez allowed only a solo homer to Steven Souza Jr. in the second over a season-high eight dominant innings.
"He threw great, hitting his spots," Hardy said of Gonzalez. "He was nasty; from shortstop, it looked nasty."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
O'Day strands 'em: Orioles reliever Darren O'Day pulled off quite the escape act in the top of the ninth inning, after loading the bases with no outs. O'Day struck out Souza and Asdrubal Cabrera, and got Jake Elmore to ground out to keep the game tied at 1.
"The second part was more fun than the first," O'Day said. "It's not how we drew it up, but anytime you put a zero on the board is exciting. I made some good pitches to the first three hitters. I'm going to hit some guys every once in a while because that pitch up and in, wasn't trying to there, obviously. It was a good mound visit by [pitching coach] Dave Wallace. He had it all figured out. He came out and talked to me for a minute, and I was lucky enough to get out of it. That's what it comes down to."
Karns dominates Orioles: Karns went six innings on Friday night, allowing just one hit, two walks and seven strikeouts. It marks his sixth straight start with giving up two or fewer runs and eight out of his last nine. Even with the Orioles struggling to get to him, Karns was pulled after six innings and 87 pitches. Jepsen pitched the seventh and gave up a solo home run to Davis that tied the game at 1. More >
"I felt great. We went through six, 1-0 ballgame," Karns said. "We have a great bullpen and they made a call to give it to them and unfortunately it didn't go our way today."
Davis does it again: The O's slugger continued to surge, driving a 1-0 pitch into right field for his 12th homer of the year, and fourth in three days. Davis also had a clutch two-out single into right field in the ninth, and has RBIs in all five Oriole games since he was benched on Monday.
"You're never really out of it, and I've kind of enjoyed being in situations with guys on base. I don't mind it. Usually, it's not by my own creation, but I don't feel like the game is lost if there's a guy on second or a guy's on third. That hitter is just as anxious as you to win the game, so there was definitely some luck involved to get out of that." -- O'Day, on his escape act in the ninth inning
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Showalter picked up his 400th victory with Baltimore with Friday's win.
The Orioles have yet to make a decision on starter Bud Norris, who could make one more rehab start or be re-inserted into the rotation in Houston next week.
Orioles catcher Matt Wieters is slated to make his season debut on Friday in Cleveland. Wieters has been rehabbing back from Tommy John surgery and hasn't caught in the Majors since May 4, 2014. More >
The Orioles lost their manager challenge with two outs in the seventh inning on a hit-by-pitch call on Cabrera. Gonzalez threw a ball behind Cabrera that was ruled to have brushed him and the call was confirmed after a 50-second replay review.
Rays: Erasmo Ramirez will go for the Rays on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. ET. It will be Ramirez's second time ever pitching at Camden Yards. After starting the season allowing 15 earned runs in 5 1/3 innings, Ramirez has only given up 11 earned runs in 30 innings over his last 10 appearances (four starts).
Orioles: Orioles lefty Wei-Yin Chen will take the mound for the second game of the series. Chen had some soreness between starts, but was deemed good to go earlier this week.
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