By Brittany Ghiroli and Michael Kolligian
ST. PETERSBURG -- Evan Longoria tripled and scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth after pinch-hitter Brandon Guyer tied the score with a solo home run off Baltimore closer Zach Britton to lead off the frame as the Rays edged the Orioles, 7-6, on Sunday before 17,801 at Tropicana Field.
Longoria, who scored with two out as a hustling Kevin Kiermaier legged out an infield single to second, atoned for a costly error with two away in the eighth inning that allowed the Orioles to break a 4-4 tie with a pair of unearned runs.
"We won the game, and ultimately, that's what you want to do," said Longoria. "I just misplayed the ball and felt terrible about it. Guyer leads off the inning with a home run and takes a little bit of the pressure off the rest of us to go up there and not try to do too much. Just happy that I don't have to talk about losing the game because I made an error."
After Chris Davis staked the Birds to a 3-1 advantage in the third with a two-run shot -- his Major League-leading 43rd of the season -- off Rays' starter Jake Odorizzi, Logan Forsythe gave the Rays a 4-3 lead when he dispatched a Kevin Gausman splitter into the left-field seats with two aboard in the fifth.
Gausman allowed four earned on eight hits with six strikeouts and a walk in six innings, while Odorizzi surrendered four earned runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and two walks in 5 2/3 innings. Kirby Yates picked up the win by recording two outs in the ninth, with Britton taking the loss.
"Where we are right now, every win's big. To kind of get out of here with another victory would have been really nice," Britton said of an Orioles team still fighting for a Wild Card spot. "So, yeah, it's going to be a frustrating flight back home, especially for me."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Britton blows it: The O's lefty suffered just his fourth blown save of the season, allowing Guyer's homer and a triple into right field by Longoria. Britton intentionally walked Forsythe and then issued another free pass before Kiermaier legged out the winning infield RBI.
"He made one bad pitch the whole inning, and that was the first one," manager Buck Showalter said of Britton. "He doesn't elevate many balls, and Guyer put a good swing on it. But Zach, you can make a case for him being as good a closer as there is in baseball."
Logan launches: Forsythe's fifth-inning blast was his 17th round-tripper of the season, nearly triple his previous career high of six. Forsythe, who also doubled to finish 2-for-3 on the day, has established personal best's in numerous categories this year, including hits (147), extra-base hits (50) doubles (31) and RBIs (63).
Brandon goes BOOM: Guyer, who was 3-for-his last 21 as a pinch-hitter, sent Britton's first offering -- a 96-mph fastball that the Orioles' closer left up in the zone -- over the center-field wall to knot the score at 6. Guyer continues to feast on Baltimore pitching, having recorded a career .315 average (28-for-89) in 32 games.
"With a pitcher like [Britton], he's got a good sinker, and I was just looking for a pitch that he left up," Guyer said. "It didn't sink too much like he usually does. I've faced him a good amount in my career, more when he was a starter, so I know what kind of stuff he has. He's a great pitcher, and I just tried to put it in play, and I'm glad it helped the team win.
Davis hits 43: The Orioles' first baseman hit a towering two-run homer in the top of the third inning as he continues to strengthen his free agent status this winter. Davis has 109 RBIs on the season.
"I have to be optimistic, or what's the reason for me coming here and playing? If I think we're done, I should pack up my whole locker and go home. Until that day happens, I always think I have a chance." -- Adam Jones, on team's dwindling playoff chances
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Rays have played 53 one-run games (25-28), which is tied with the White Sox for most across the Majors.
WHAT'S NEXT Orioles:Ubaldo Jimenez (11-9, 4.31 ERA) will take the mound as the Orioles open up a three-game series against the Nationals in D.C. on Monday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Jimenez leads the Orioles with 11 wins and has limited his walks -- a problem that plagued him last season. Jimenez got a no-decision on Tuesday against Boston when he allowed four runs on six hits through five innings.
Rays:Chris Archer (12-12, 2.95 ERA) will take the ball at Fenway Park on Monday when the Rays open a four-game series with the Red Sox at 7:10 p.m. ET. The 26-year-old right-hander, who set the Rays' single-season strikeout record on Thursday while holding the Yankees to two earned runs in six innings, is 0-2 with a 4.32 ERA in three starts against Boston this year.