During the weekend’s first two games here in Tampa Bay, the
But in Sunday’s series finale against the
After scoring just one run in their previous 23 innings, the Orioles jumped on Rays left-hander
After a one-day stay in fourth place in the
"It's just important to get a win,” said catcher
The Orioles had been held to one run and six hits (and only one extra-base hit) over the first two games of the series – stymied by the Rays' trademark strong pitching – but on Sunday, they set a season high with eight extra-base hits and tied season highs in runs and doubles (seven) in their 16-hit attack.
"When you figure it out, let me know,” manager
They battered Moore (8-2) for nine runs on 12 hits – both career highs – over five innings, sitting on his off-speed deliveries and shooting them down the lines and into the outfield gaps.
Meanwhile, Orioles right-hander
And despite a late-inning Rays rally that brought the tying run to the plate with two outs in the ninth, the Orioles were able to complete their six-game road trip to Houston and Tampa Bay with a 3-3 mark.
The Orioles recorded five doubles off Moore 12 hitters into the game. They went up early on back-to-back RBI doubles by
The Orioles rattled off three more doubles in the second, including back-to-back run-scoring doubles by Machado and Hardy. Machado's double, an opposite-field rocket to right on a hit-and-run play, was his majors-leading 27th of the season.
Baltimore received production throughout the lineup. No. 9 hitter
Jones hit his 12th homer of the season – a mammoth solo shot to left-center field that was an estimated 457 feet, the longest of his career – in the fourth inning.
"Takes a little load off our backs," Hardy said. "We went out there, we were just being aggressive. We were just trying to swing the bat. We got some hits. It felt good. [Moore's] a great pitcher, very tough. I don't know if he had his best stuff today or not. We came out swinging the bat. I know he was throwing a lot of strikes."
Nine of the Orioles' 12 hits against Moore came on off-speed pitches – six off changeups and three off curveballs. In winning his first eight decisions of the season, Moore's off-speed pitches had been dominant. Heading into the day, opponents were hitting just .142 against Moore's changeup and curveball. On Sunday, the Orioles were 9-for-16 against those pitches.
"Two runs in the first, 'OK, our guys have that,'" Moore said of falling behind. "Five runs is a whole new ballgame. That's a big number, especially against a guy like Tillman and what their bullpen looks like late in games."
Showalter said he was proud of the way Tillman didn't let the early lead affect the way he attacked the Tampa Bay lineup. He was still able to mix his pitches well to keep the Rays off balance.
"It's important," Tillman said. "I struggled with that when I was younger. The guys go out there and put up some runs and you think you can just cruise, but that's not the case. You've got to go out there and pitch as if it's a 0-0 ballgame. It's one of the learning curves in this game. You've got to go out there no matter what and pitch your butt off."
Despite Tillman's strong effort, the Rays were able to rebound against the Orioles' bullpen late, making it a seven-run game heading into the bottom of the eighth interesting.
After Orioles reliever Darren O’Day struck out the side in the seventh, Tampa Bay rallied late with three runs in the eighth off left-hander
The Rays (34-28) brought the tying run to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but closer Jim Johnson induced a game-ending pop-up from
"The American League East is tough," Showalter said. "You've got to play nine innings, which our guys did. They kept adding on, trying to. It's hard in the major leagues. Talented hitters and things are going to happen. We've had games at home where nobody dreamed that we'd get the tying run to the plate, but we did. You've got to keep competing."