Final Score: Tampa Bay 12, Baltimore 10
Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Kelly Johnson finished 3-for-5 with a three-
run homer, four RBI and two runs scored as Tampa Bay withstood a late
Baltimore charge and escaped with a 12-10 victory in the opener of a three-
game set from Camden Yards.
Yunel Escobar added three hits and drove in three runs, while Desmond Jennings
hit safely twice and knocked in a pair for the Rays, who ended a two-game skid
and won for the seventh time in nine games overall but not before almost
wasting an eight-run advantage.
James Loney and Evan Longoria each recorded a pair of hits, scored twice and
knocked in a run for Tampa Bay, which led 12-4 after six innings.
Jeremy Hellickson (2-2) gave up 10 hits and eight runs over 7 2/3 innings, but
picked up the win thanks to his club's prolific offense. Joel Peralta retired
the final four batters of the contest to earn his first save of the season.
"We've been shaky a couple times and we're kind of getting back to what we
really think we can do...save the lead, hold the lead for the guys," Peralta
said of the bullpen's struggles of late. "We've been blowing some games so
tonight was really special for me."
Chris Dickerson's three-run shot capped a six-run eighth inning for the
Orioles, losers of three straight and five of seven. Chris Davis and Matt
Wieters each posted two RBI and J.J. Hardy went deep in the narrow defeat.
Jason Hammel (5-2) took the mound bidding for a piece of Orioles history, but
was torched for 10 hits and seven runs in just 4 2/3 frames.
"We just haven't made the pitches when we need to," Wieters admitted. "You can
look at a lot of different things that we need to do better, but our guys are
working hard to get it figured out."
Tampa pushed into double digits with three runs in the sixth courtesy of a
Luke Scott sacrifice fly and two-run single from Escobar, and that eight-run
spread eventually withered to two.
Nate McLouth tripled to start the eighth and scored on a Manny Machado
groundout, then a single and double sandwiched around a fielder's choice
groundout put two in scoring position ahead of a Wieters two-run single.
Hellickson was pulled for Kyle Farnsworth, and a Hardy single preceded
Dickerson's three-run blast which pulled the O's within 12-10.
After Yamaico Navarro singled, Peralta was called on to stop the bleeding and
he retired Matt Joyce on a grounder.
Baltimore went quietly in the ninth, on two pop outs and a fly out.
Tampa scratched out a run in the first as Matt Joyce singled with one out, Ben
Zobrist doubled and Longoria's fly to right scored Joyce.
Baltimore countered in the home half on a two-out, two-run single from Davis.
McLouth (leadoff single) and Machado (double) came in on the hit.
Hardy started the bottom of the second with his eighth homer of the season,
but the Rays struck for four more in the third to take the lead again.
Zobrist and Longoria slugged consecutive one-out singles to put runners on the
corners, then Loney's sac fly made it 3-2. Scott followed with a walk and
Johnson launched a three-run shot to right for a 5-3 game.
The visitors upped their advantage to 9-3 in the fifth, thanks to an RBI
single from Johnson, a run-scoring, ground-rule double from Escobar and a two-
run single from Jennings.
Navarro's leadoff triple in the home half turned into the O's fourth run of
the contest on Machado's groundout.
Tampa Bay improved to 3-4 this year against Baltimore, splitting four games in
the Charm City ... With a win Friday, Hammel could have become the first
Oriole to go 6-1 or better to start consecutive seasons since Mike Boddicker
went 6-1 to start 1985 and 10-1 to start the 1986 season ... Hammel started
the 2012 season with a 6-1 mark ... With Friday's defeat, the Orioles have
scored 47 runs in seven games (6.7 per game) against the Rays along with 12
homers ... Hardy extended hit streak to 12 games ... Baltimore pitchers
surrendered a season-high 17 hits for the second straight contest.
05/18 01:26:09 ET
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