BALTIMORE -- If there was any lingering doubt about Mark Trumbo's back, he laid it to rest with one swing in the eighth inning Sunday. After missing the past two games with back spasms, the Major League leader in home runs crushed a first-pitch fastball for his 43rd homer of
BALTIMORE -- If there was any lingering doubt about Mark Trumbo's back, he laid it to rest with one swing in the eighth inning Sunday. After missing the past two games with back spasms, the Major League leader in home runs crushed a first-pitch fastball for his 43rd homer of the season to give the Orioles a much-needed 2-1 win over the Rays at Camden Yards.
"It reminds you why you play, to have that opportunity and come through," Trumbo said.
The victory gives the O's a series split with last-place Tampa Bay with Boston coming to town for four games beginning Monday. The Orioles sit three games back of the Red Sox in the American League East. Baltimore also now has a one-game lead over Toronto for the first AL Wild Card spot, as the Blue Jays lost on Sunday.
After the O's were unable to score in a tie game with runners on second and third and one out in the seventh, Trumbo provided the offense the firepower it was missing in Saturday's loss. His blast to left-center field off Ryan Garton left the bat at 111 mph and went a projected 433 feet, according to Statcast™.
"I just missed my spot," Garton said. "[Catcher] Luke [Maile] called a fastball outside, and I threw it right down the middle. Lower in the zone, but completely missed my spot. ... It was center cut of the plate. Hitters like that don't miss. It was on me. I've got to be better."
Zach Britton closed out a strong five-inning performance by the Orioles' bullpen for his 45th straight save. The O's 'pen was forced to enter in the fifth inning after starter Wade Miley left the game with a mild muscle strain in his back.
"Any time you have the starter go out in the fourth like that, especially when he's pitching so well, is tough," said Brad Brach, who picked up the win. "Everyone was able to step up and pitch their inning and just kind of pass it to the next guy, like we've been saying all year. You pitch your inning, and you pass your baton toward the guys in the back."
Corey Dickerson opened the fifth inning with a solo homer to left field that Manny Machado answered an inning later when he led off the sixth with a blast of his own. The home runs accounted for the only runs through the first seven innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Machado sets career high: Machado lined a 2-2 fastball into the center-field seats to lead off the sixth inning to set a career high with 36 homers. The All-Star third baseman clubbed 35 home runs a season ago. Machado's homer, his fourth in September, left the bat at 105 mph and went a projected 407 feet, per Statcast™.
"It was a good pitch," Rays starter Jake Odorizzi said. "We pitched him backwards the entire game. Offspeed heavy, offspeed heavy. Two strikes up there, tried to climb the ladder and see if we could get him to swing through a pitch, and he got on top of it. That's why he's one of the most elite talents in the game."
No-decision master: Odorizzi continued to pitch well, holding the Orioles to one run on five hits while striking out three. Unfortunately for the right-hander, the one run was enough to tie the game at 1 and earn him yet another no-decision. Odorizzi has a Major League-leading 16 no-decisions this season. He has allowed two earned runs or fewer 20 times this season and has 12 no-decisions in those games.
"No-decisions happen," Odorizzi said. "They just seem to happen a lot this year. It's a funky thing, but no-decisions are a lot better than losses, last time I checked. That's a good thing."
Rough welcome back:Darren O'Day was activated from the 15-day disabled list before Sunday's game and entered in the fifth inning after Miley exited. Pitching in his first game since Aug. 11, O'Day surrendered a homer on his first pitch. Dickerson drove a slider over the left-field fence that traveled a Statcast-projected 385 feet.
"That was weird, I threw a good pitch," O'Day said. "I couldn't believe he hit that out, so kudos to him."
The typical setup man settled in after the homer, striking out two while allowing a single.
"It was awesome to be back," O'Day said, "be able to help the guys out. They've been having a heavy workload down there. So to take one inning, it's helpful. Obviously, the day was made even better by the win at the end there."
Farquhar's streak continues: The seventh inning brought a little bit of a rough ride for the Rays' Danny Farquhar, but once again he prevailed, notching his 12th consecutive scoreless appearance since Aug. 27. The right-hander entered in the seventh with the score tied at 1. J.J. Hardy then singled and Pedro Álvarez walked before Caleb Joseph sacrificed the runners into scoring position. Farquhar then struck out Adam Jones before handing the ball over to Dana Eveland, who struck out Drew Stubbs to end the threat.
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Brach became the first Orioles pitcher since 1997 to win 10 games as a reliever. He tossed a scoreless eighth inning to improve to 10-3.
"If someone told me I'd win 10 games out of the bullpen, I'd be like, 'I don't know how that's possible, first of all,'" Brach said. "It's pretty crazy."
MILEY EXITS WITH BACK INJURY
In the midst of his best outing with the Orioles, Miley was removed from the game during his warmups in the fifth inning with a mild muscle strain in his back. The lefty had retired the first nine batters of the game and pitched out of a jam in the fourth. Miley entered with a 8.41 ERA in eight starts with the Orioles but allowed just one hit in his four innings.
"I slipped on a pitch," said Miley, who said he first felt it in the fourth inning. "Trying to go fastball away, I kind of lost my balance. I felt something grab in my shoulder blade area. It kind of stayed there and didn't go away, and in between innings, it kind of got a little worse. I felt it a little bit. I didn't think it was smart to stay out there and try to deal with it." More >
Rays: The Rays will be off on Monday before they start a three-game series against the Yankees on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET at Tropicana Field. Drew Smyly (7-11, 4.98 ERA) will make his 29th start, hoping to continue the positive wave he's been riding that has seen him go 5-0 with a 3.81 ERA in his past 10 starts.
Orioles: Rookie Dylan Bundy (9-5, 3.88 ERA) will get the ball Monday at 7:05 p.m. ET at Camden Yards in the first of a four-game series with the Red Sox that could go a long way in determining the winner in the American League East. It will be Bundy's second straight start against Boston. He surrendered three runs in 5 1/3 innings his last time out.
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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.
Ryan Baillargeon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore.