ST. PETERSBURG -- A six-run fifth fueled an 8-6 Rays win over the Orioles on Friday night at Tropicana Field.
Grady Sizemore started the scoring in the big frame with a three-run double off Orioles rookie Tyler Wilson. James Loney added a two-run double off Chaz Roe and Nick Franklin completed the big inning with an RBI double to give the Rays an 8-3 lead.
"Grady ... was huge," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "To separate the game like that. A lot of good at-bats."
Steve Pearce's two-run homer off Drew Smyly in the sixth chased the Rays' starter, who earned his third win of the season.
J.J. Hardy hit a three-run homer off Smyly in the second that staked the Orioles to a 3-0 lead. Tim Beckham answered for the Rays with a two-run homer in the bottom half of the inning off Wilson to cut the lead to 3-2.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Mahtook on a roll:Mikie Mahtook has been on a roll. Monday night against the Yankees, the rookie outfielder kept alive Erasmo Ramirez's no-hit bid when he robbed Brian McCann at the wall then doubled a runner off second. He stole a base in three consecutive games, and he has swung the bat. Mahtook went 5-for-5 Friday night, and he's hit .441 (15-for-34) over his last 11 games. More >
Beck blossoming: Whether he likes it or not, Beckham will forever be linked to the player the Rays did not select when they chose Beckham with the top pick of the 2008 June Draft, fellow by the name of Buster Posey. Dividends on Beckham have been slow, but the rookie infielder has begun to show promise -- and power. Given that power, it's not a stretch to think that Beckham could state his case to be the everyday shortstop in 2016.
Wilson's short spot start: The rookie, who was named as the starter a day prior, was unable to give the Orioles a deep start. Staked to a three-run lead, Wilson surrendered a two-run homer to Beckham in the bottom half of the second inning. He couldn't get out of trouble in the fifth, watching Sizemore's bases-clearing double chase him from the game. Wilson was charged with six earned runs over 4 1/3 innings in his third start for the O's. He had allowed just six runs total in six games for Baltimore entering Friday.
"Fastball command was something that pretty much deserted me tonight. I was executing in the bullpen, felt pretty good in the bullpen," Wilson said. "But fastball command was not there on either side of the plate and definitely not down. I missed a lot of pitches in the middle of the plate. On top of that, I was behind guys and didn't really execute too many breaking balls. So to have those three things not going in your favor and not being able to make the adjustment is not a good omen for how the night is going to go." More >
Pearce's blasts: Pearce turned in his first multi-homer game of the season and third of his career. He hit a two-run shot in the sixth inning and a solo homer with one out in the ninth.
"Yeah, I feel comfortable [hitting here]," Pearce said at Tropicana Field, where he has 7 homers in 21 games, his most at any road ballpark. "I was just glad that I'm starting to square some balls up. I'll try to do it again tomorrow."
"Offensively, the big hit from Beckham, we needed that right then. We didn't allow Baltimore to have what they call a shut-down inning." -- Cash, on the importance of Beckham's home run
"It's definitely frustrating. We've just got to do a better job, both sides of the ball. And we've got to keep fighting. I know we're a long shot, but we're still not out of it." -- Pearce, on the Orioles' Wild Card chances
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Sizemore's three-run double in the fifth was only the Rays' second extra-base hit with the bases loaded since the beginning of June. The other was Beckham's three-run triple on July 28 against the Tigers.
The Rays challenged the safe call at second base in the third inning when Smyly picked off Manny Machado at first, but Machado was called safe at second. After 1 minute and 26 seconds, the call on the field was overturned. If you're keeping score, that's a 1-3-5 caught stealing (third baseman Evan Longoria got the putout as he was shifted over toward second base).
WHAT'S NEXT Orioles: Lefty Wei-Yin Chen is trying to put the finishing touches on another solid season. He is tied for second on the team in wins and has a 3.44 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 172 2/3 innings. He'll get the start against the Rays on Saturday for the 6:10 p.m. ET game.
Rays: Ramirez (10-5, 3.75 ERA) will try to build on his last outing, when he carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Yankees. He came away with a no-decision after pitching his longest outing of the season at 7 2/3 innings. He is 2-1 with a 4.01 ERA in six career appearances (five starts) against the Orioles.