Baltimore took the rubber game from the Rays, 9-3, to win the series and bring themselves within one game of .500. Jake Arrieta got the win while Andy Sonnanstine lost his first game of the season.
Picking up where they left off yesterday, the O’s jumped out to an early lead in the second inning. Vladimir Guerrero started it off with a double to right field and moved to third on a ground out by Adam Jones. Matt Wieters continued his tear with runners in scoring position, driving Guerrero in with a single up the middle. He moved to 13-for-23 and 20 RBIs with RISP.
They added two more in the third when Brian Roberts bunted for a base hit to begin the rally. Nick Markakis, seeming to have found his swing during this series, doubled to left center field and both runner were plated on a single by Derrek Lee.
Elliot Johnson put the Rays on the board in the bottom of the third with a solo shot—his first major league home run. Tampa Bay pulled within one in the fourth. Matt Joyce singled and was brought in on an RBI single by Casey Kotchman.
The Birds got the run right back with Markakis, as the first batter of the fifth, homered to right field. It was his fourth of the season but his first since May 4 in Kansas City.
With the offense still going, the O’s started off the sixth inning with three consecutive walks. All three base runners were brought in on a grand slam by J.J. Hardy, the first for the team on the year.
Matt Joyce cut the lead to five when he went deep in the eighth inning.
Not lying down in the ninth, Baltimore added another with three straight two-out singles by Jones, Wieters, and Reynolds to add the final run.
Arrieta allowed two runs over his 6.0 innings. He gave up three free passes while notching up seven strike outs. He threw 63 of his 103 pitches for strikes as he faced 25 batters in his outing. Arrieta began showing signs of fatigue in the sixth as he gave up two of his walks in the inning, leading to him being taken out.
Jim Johnson came out to the pen to work the seventh, giving up two hits. Mike Gonzalez took the eighth, surrendering a run on a solo shot. Clay Rapada came on in the ninth to face one batter and give up a hit, being replaced by Koji Uehara. Uehara retired all three batters faced to end the game.
Sonnanstine lasted 5.0 innings, giving up four runs on eight hits. He walked one and struck out five. The Rays bullpen gave up five runs on five hits including a home run. They combined for three walks and two strike outs. They faced 22 batters over 4.0 innings.
After attempting to steal very rarely in the beginning of the season, the Orioles have taken the opportunities three times in the past two games as Jones stole his fifth base of the season. Five of Baltimore’s hitters had multi-hit games with Luke Scott being the only starter to not get on in some way—including a three hit game for both Markakis and Wieters. Hitters were three up and three down only twice on the night. Matt Wieters kept his stellar performances behind the plate going, throwing out an attempted steal in the seventh to bring his stats to 12-for-22 in throwing out runners.
Oriole starters have an ERA of 1.64 over the past six games in which they have racked up six quality starts, including two complete games and a nine inning outing by Britton. The team average is .304 with 28 runs, 70 hits, and five double-digit hit games in that stretch.
The Orioles will head to Boston as they send Chris Tillman (2-3) to take on Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-3) and the Red Sox.