ST. PETERSBURG -- Talk about answering the challenge. The Rays embraced Wednesday's wake-up call from manager Kevin Cash and came through with a 3-1 come-from-behind win over the Orioles on Friday night at Tropicana Field.
Following Wednesday afternoon's 5-4 loss to the Phillies in disappointing fashion, the Rays skipper told reporters it was "gut check" time and that the team needed to "flip a switch here now."
Consider the switch flipped. The resilient Rays rallied from a 1-0 deficit to score three runs in the eighth to take the win.
"You know, we came out and it's not like we knocked the cover off the ball, but we got the hits when we needed to," Cash said. "We always talk about the character we have in the clubhouse. And it gets tested sometimes. Because we did play some ugly ballgames in Philly. We had an off-day to maybe re-group.
"They're an extremely resilient group. We've said time and time again how they play the full game. And we needed them to play the full game tonight to get the win."
The Rays entered the game after losing two of three to the Phillies -- who have the worst record in the Major Leagues -- hitting just .185 with runners in scoring position while committing six errors. And just when it appeared the Rays would be lamenting yet another Chris Archer quality start gone to waste, they found a way.
Trailing 1-0 in the eighth, the Rays got an RBI single from John Jaso and Tim Beckham capped off the rally with a two-run single for the win.
"[The win was] a credit to the guys," Cash said. "They've been scuffling. To be able to piece that inning together says a lot about the character and the quality at-bats that they continued to have that inning."
The win moved the Rays to 2-37 when trailing after seven innings. The only other win came on April 25 against Toronto when Beckham delivered a go-ahead two-run double.
"The big hit, [Beckham] seems to get them when those situations arise," Cash said. "It seems like his level of play rises up with it. And that's a pretty good quality to have. Especially for a young player. He's got a lot of confidence in himself to get it done. And he keeps proving that he's capable of doing it."
Kevin Kiermaier's leadoff walk to start the eighth and his steal of second were critical to the Rays' comeback. Beckham said he shared a moment with Kiermaier prior to the start of the inning.
"I told him 'You go, I go, we go,' man," Beckham said. "Whoever gets it started, we're thriving off of that. Our team, we thrive off the positive energy that we have. We thrive off of stealing bases, getting big hits and that's what we do. We took that momentum and won the game."
The music blared in the winning clubhouse following the game. The Rays still need to dig themselves out of a hole, but they deserved to feel good about themselves on Friday night.
"Nice win to start the homestand off," Cash said.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.