ST. PETERSBURG -- It was not a pretty win.With five errors and several other misplays, it looked as if the O's were about to suffer another heartbreaking, late-game defeat. Then, Trey Mancini took over.The O's left fielder laced a 3-1 pitch from Sergio Romo past the diving glove of left
ST. PETERSBURG -- It was not a pretty win.
With five errors and several other misplays, it looked as if the O's were about to suffer another heartbreaking, late-game defeat. Then, Trey Mancini took over.
The O's left fielder laced a 3-1 pitch from Sergio Romo past the diving glove of left fielder Mallex Smith to give Baltimore -- fresh off Tuesday's walk-off loss -- a comeback win. Mancini's go-ahead two-run double in the ninth, coupled with solo homers from Mark Trumbo, Timothy Beckham and Adam Jones, helped the Orioles edge the Rays in a 5-4, series-evening victory on Wednesday at Tropicana Field.
"It was a very interesting game," Mancini said. "I don't know the last time I've been part of a game that we've had five errors and won. But baseball can be a very beautiful thing sometimes, where you make some mistakes but still do enough to win the game. And today was one of those days."
In fact, it was the O's first win in which the club committed at least five errors since June 9, 1983, against the Brewers. The victory marks the Orioles' third win in their last 18 road games and helped ensure a seven-inning gem from starter Andrew Cashner wouldn't go for naught.
Cashner, coming off his worst start this season, was terrific. He needed just 83 pitches to get through his first six innings, twice using just nine pitches to retire the Rays. The righty allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits, shaking off the defensive problems behind him.
"We could have been charged with another one," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of the lopsided error column, which grew Baltimore's season total to 78, third-most in the American League. "It's been a challenge for us, and we've got to get better. You just don't win Major League games very often like that, but [Cashner] was the difference. He didn't give up a hard-hit ball in the first inning and gave up two runs, but bowed his neck. A lot of people pull the dirt in around them, but he just kept pitching, and that's the challenge a lot of our pitchers have had when we didn't convert some balls that should be outs."
Down a run after Tampa Bay scored one each in the seventh and eighth, the O's showed their moxie by mounting a ninth-inning rally. Trumbo, who made it 3-2 with his 16th homer of the year in the fourth inning, opened the ninth with a single off Romo, and Danny Valencia followed with a single to put the go-ahead run aboard. Pinch-runner Joey Rickard stole second base, and Mancini got ahead 3-0 before giving the O's the lead for good two pitches later.
Beckham, who went back-to-back with Jones, homering off of Rays opener Ryne Stanek in the first, committed two errors at shortstop. One came in the seventh as the O's failed to turn a double play late in the game for the second night in a row, this time on Kevin Kiermaier's sharp grounder. Third baseman Renato Nunez waited for Beckham to get to the bag, but Beckham missed it and the O's failed to get an out on the play.
"They haven't been together that long," Showalter said of the duo, who each moved into new spots after the Manny Machado trade last month. "It's understanding responsibilities before the ball is hit. They've been told, and they know. Just concentration lapses."
The miscue cost Cashner his second unearned run of the evening as Tampa Bay also capitalized on errors by Beckham and catcher Caleb Joseph to score twice in the first (one earned).
"I think it's very important to know who you are as a pitcher," Cashner said, when asked if errors tempt him to change his approach. "Would I like to be a strikeout pitcher? Yes, but I think for me to stay healthy, it's sink the ball on both sides of the plate, change speeds and try to get them out up in the zone."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Givens gets the save: With the trades of Brad Brach and Zach Britton, Mychal Givens has earned the role of O's closer. The righty was able to keep the Rays from another walk-off win, unwavering despite two ninth-inning errors that put the tying run on third base. Givens got Matt Duffy to line out to second base to seal his third save.
At 98.3 and 98.5 mph, respectively, the pitches Beckham and Jones hit homers off are the two fastest pitches the O's have homered against this season, according to Statcast™.
HE SAID IT
"For me, it's sometimes constantly tell myself -- I'm not going to tell you all [what it is], because it's not very nice -- but just continue to make pitches, just one pitch at a time, try to keep pounding the zone and try to get outs." -- Cashner, on staying calm with errors behind him
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Rays challenged the ruling in the seventh inning that Smith was out at first base in a closely contested play as Kiermaier raced home to try to score the go-ahead run. But the call was confirmed to end the frame after a replay review time of one minute, 28 seconds.
The Orioles will send rookie David Hess to the mound for Thursday's series finale against the Rays. Hess struggled in his first start in more than a month, allowing seven runs (five earned) in Friday's loss to the Rangers. He'll look to rebound in the pitcher-friendly confines of Tropicana Field, opposite Rays opener Hunter Wood. First pitch is slated for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.