Orioles rally vs. Rays' bullpen to win finale
ST. PETERSBURG -- Led by a two-out, two-run single by Adam Jones, the Orioles used a three-run seventh inning to take the series with a 4-2 win on Sunday over the Rays at Tropicana Field.
Jones -- who tied a career high with four hits to raise his average to .402-- helped take Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen off the hook after a quality six-inning outing.
"You've gotta do what you've gotta do," Jones said of taking two of three games despite the last-minute venue change. "But it's cool that the Rays and their organization saw what was going on in Baltimore and they offered to switch the series on such short notice. So, you've got to give them thanks because if that didn't happen we wouldn't be playing this weekend in Baltimore. It's good that the Rays organization found it smart to switch the locations."
The Rays used five pitchers after starter Nathan Karns' five scoreless innings and got on the board with James Loney's solo shot in the second. Logan Forsythe drove in another run in the fifth on an RBI single.
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Seventh-inning comeback: Red-hot Jimmy Paredes tied the game and improved to 6-for-11 with six RBIs with runners in scoring position, while Jones delivered the big blow with a base hit to center field.
"I've got one simple philosophy -- get the heater and try not to miss it," Jones said "After that, I don't even know. It all draws a blank."
Bullpen backfires: Despite needing only 66 pitches to record five shutout innings, Karns was pulled by Rays manager Kevin Cash after the fifth with a 2-0 lead in favor of a bullpen that had notched a 1.44 ERA in its previous 43 2/3 innings. The Rays' relief corps struggled mightily on Sunday, however, allowing four runs on seven hits in three innings. In the decisive seventh inning, losing pitcher Steve Geltz allowed two runs on two hits and Kevin Jepsen surrendered three hits without recording an out.
"Karnsie threw the ball really well today, gave us a chance to win the game. At that point, I felt that he'd given us exactly what we needed. If there was a chance I jumped the gun an inning early, that's on me," Cash said. "Hopefully, he looks at it as a confidence boost because he did everything that was asked of him. We can probably sit and second-guess a lot of situations and again, that's on me. Could he have gone back out? Without a doubt he could have." More >
Chen keeps streak intact: The Orioles' lefty became the seventh consecutive starter to go at least six innings and gave Baltimore its sixth straight quality start. Chen held Tampa Bay to two runs on seven hits and struck out four before the bullpen fired three scoreless innings.
"It's all about just doing your job," reliever Tommy Hunter said. "There's been a lot of things that have been turning around. The bullpen been getting a little better. The starters are getting deeper. We're playing defense and putting runs up on the board." More >
Loney goes long: The veteran first baseman ended a 15-inning Rays scoreless streak when he launched an 0-2 fastball from Chen into the right-field seats in the second inning for his second home run of the season, making the score, 1-0. The two-out blast was Loney's first round-tripper off a lefty since June 7 of last year, when he took Seattle's Roenis Elias deep at Tropicana Field.
"I think we'll break out of it. We've just got to keep working," said Loney of his team's offense. "Our pitching's been good. We've got to help them out."
Second baseman Steve Pearce was pinch-hit for in the sixth inning, leaving the game due to a stomach illness. Pearce was replaced by Rey Navarro.
"It's hard on everybody. It's hard on [the Rays], too. I'd like to thank the city of [St. Petersburg] and the Tampa organization for providing the venue. And MLB. It's unusual circumstances, this is a lot more challenging than a rain delay or rainout and doubleheader. But there's always challenges and we've had our share. We hope to get a break with them." -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter, on a tough week for Baltimore
Rays left-hander Matt Moore, who is recovering from April 2014 Tommy John surgery, reported that he "felt really good" and "was very happy to be around the zone" after throwing 25 pitches of live batting practice prior to the game. Moore, who hopes to return to the Rays' starting rotation in mid June, mixed a fastball, curveball and changeup with velocity ranging from 89 to 92 miles per hour.
Baltimore's J.J. Hardy and Ryan Flaherty will start a rehab assignment with Double-A Bowie on Monday.
In the sixth inning, the Rays unsuccessfully challenged a safe call at second base by umpire Todd Tichenor. Rays shortstop Tim Beckham fielded Jones' grounder behind the bag and flipped to second baseman Forsythe as Manny Machado slid feet-first into the bag. The safe call was confirmed after replay review, making the Rays 0-for-10 on the season in replay challenges. Machado would go on to score the first Orioles run on a pinch-hit RBI single by Navarro.
The Orioles lost their challenge in a quick 30-second review of Delmon Young running to first base in the bottom of the eighth inning. The call was confirmed as out.
Rays: Jake Odorizzi (2-2, 2.41 ERA) will take the ball when the Rays open a three-game series with the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Monday at 7:10 p.m. ET. The 25-year-old right-hander faced Boston on April 23 at Tropicana Field and pitched effectively, allowing three hits and one earned run in 6 2/3 innings in a game the Rays would go on to win, 2-1. The Red Sox will counter with right-hander Clay Buchholz (1-3, 5.76 ERA).
Orioles: Baltimore will enjoy an off-day in New York on Monday before a week's worth of games in the Big Apple. First up are the Mets, who have tabbed Bartolo Colon to start opposite Bud Norris on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET.
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