Tampa Bay Sports Day

RAYS: Orioles Overcome Four-Run Deficit to Beat Tampa Bay

BALTIMORE — Michael Bourn helped out on offense and defense for the Baltimore Orioles late in Friday’s game. Manny Machado also pitched in at the right time.

Bourn hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth inning that capped a late rally from an early four-run deficit. Machado and Bourn combined to throw out Mikie Mahtook at the plate for the game’s final out which saved a 5-4 victory for the Baltimore Orioles over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Baltimore (81-66) stayed two games behind Boston (83-64) in the American League East as the Red Sox also won Friday night. The Orioles also remained tied with the Blue Jays for the top wild-card spot after Toronto defeated the Los Angels Angels 5-0 later Friday.

The Orioles escaped with the victory thanks to that final play. Mahtook singled with two outs against closer Zach Britton and tried to score from first on Alexei Ramirez’s line drive down the left-field line.

Bourn fielded the ball cleanly and quickly hit cut-off man Machado near third base. Machado turned and easily gunned down Mahtook at the plate — a play that stood up under review and locked up Britton’s 44th save in 44 chances this year.

“I was assuming he would try,” Bourn said. “A 3-2 count, he’s already running and when you’ve got your closer on the mound you probably get only so many chances so when you get that chance right there, you know they’re probably going to try to send him. So I’m trying to get to it as quickly as I can, try to get to it before it hit the wall and get it in to J.J. (Hardy) or Manny and let them do the rest.”

Mahtook said he wasn’t surprised third-base coach Charlie Montoyo sent him with two outs against Britton but said the Orioles did what they needed.
“(Catcher Matt Wieters) blocked it pretty well,” Mahtook said. “I tried to slide around it obviously and slid into his foot. They made a good play and they got me out.”

Tampa Bay (63-84) used a pair of two-run homers for a 4-0 lead after 1 1/2 innings but Baltimore bounced back.
The Orioles got solo homers from Pedro Alvarez in the second and Chris Davis in the fourth, and an RBI single from Hyun Soo Kim in the seventh — on a fly ball that center fielder Kevin Kiermaier leaped and pulled back from going over the wall, preventing a grand slam.

The eighth inning saw the Orioles finally take the lead against Brad Boxberger (4-2). The first three batters reached base — thanks to two walks and a hit batter — before Hardy tied it with an infield single.

Bourn followed with his fly ball to left field that scored pinch-runner Nolan Reimold with the tie-breaking run. Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said that Boxberger’s troubles with command opened the door in that inning.

“It’s just unfortunate Boxie just didn’t quite have the command tonight,” Cash said. “That’s going to happen. When you put yourself in that situation, (and) we put ourselves in that situation, a good offense is going to make you pay, and that’s kind of what they did.”

Brad Brach (9-3) earned the victory thanks to a scoreless eighth.

The Rays started quickly as Evan Longoria homered in the first inning for a second straight night. Richie Shaffer added a two-run homer in the second inning after Steven Souza Jr. singled to open the frame. That gave the Rays the early four-run lead.

Starter Chris Archer gave up three runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings and left with the lead, but the Tampa Bay bullpen could not hold it.
Baltimore starter Ubaldo Jimenez rebounded after giving up the two-run homers in the first two innings. He allowed only two hits after that and lasted seven innings, striking out eight without a walk and keeping the Orioles close enough to rally late.

“(Early-inning problems), that’s part of the game,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “I’m more interested in the end product, the end game. If you as a pitcher get so immersed in that, oh, my gosh, you don’t pitch five shutout innings after that.”

GAME NOTES:  DH/OF Mark Trumbo, the major league leader in homers (42), did not play because of back spasms. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Trumbo told him this problem occurs a few times per season, and they’re hoping he can start Saturday’s game. …RHP Darren O’Day threw 26 pitches in a simulated game Friday afternoon. O’Day has been on the disabled list (right shoulder rotator cuff strain) since Aug. 13, and Showalter said they’ll let the right-hander rest Saturday and then make a decision Sunday or Monday on his status. …For Tampa Bay, 1B Brad Miller made his first start in left field this season as OF Nick Franklin is battling hamstring issues. Manager Kevin Cash said he still sees Miller as a first baseman, but his versatility helps the team. In fact, Cash said he’ll probably play shortstop Saturday. …Rays 1B Logan Morrison (left wrist strain) will be getting a second opinion on his injury next week with surgery a possibility. He is on the 60-day disabled list, being moved there Friday to make room for OF Jaff Decker, selected from Triple-A Durham