ST. PETERSBURG -- The Orioles hit three home runs, including Manny Machado's grand slam, to overpower the Rays in Tuesday's 11-2 series win.
The O's, who have won four of their last five games, move one game ahead of the Tigers for the second American League Wild Card spot, courtesy of their win and Detroit's loss to the White Sox. With the Blue Jays' loss to the Yankees, Baltimore is also just a game behind Toronto in the AL East.
Machado's blast capped a six-run fourth inning and is his third grand slam of the season. Chris Davis, who exited in the fifth with an undisclosed injury, also homered in the second inning. Adam Jones drove in three runs, one on an eighth-inning solo shot.
"When they start talking about MVPs, they've got to talk about him, too…just all around. It's been an honor to watch him play every day," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Machado. "I know he just missed a couple of pitches in previous at-bats, and he battled his way back in the count. He had a lot of good at-bats before that to set that situation up."
Rays starter Jake Odorizzi, who was 4-0 in August, had an outing to forget. The right-hander lasted four innings and allowed seven runs on six hits and three walks. Orioles starter Yovani Gallardo ended a five-start winless run, allowing two runs, one earned over five innings, with Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe going deep for a leadoff homer in the first.
"I think you could tell fairly early on that [Odorizzi] didn't quite have all of his weapons tonight. We've seen him so good here of late," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Tonight he just didn't have the best feel for the changeup. He really committed to the fastball [in the six-run fourth]. Seemed like he was trying to go in on some hitters and just couldn't quite get that pitch where he wanted to."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Manny's big blast: Machado went 2-for-5 and drove in four runs total to put him at 90 RBIs on the year. He is the first Orioles player since Chris Hoiles in 1998 to hit three grand slams in one season.
"I think people are overlooking how well we are executing and hitting in key situations," Machado said. "Things are starting to click for us, we're starting to play as a team. It's been fun for the last couple days. It's been fun doing what we're doing. We're excited for the rest of September, and we're going to see what happens in the long run." More >
Forsythe's best: Forsythe homered to right on a 3-1 pitch from Gallardo to lead off the Rays' first. The home run gave Forsythe a new single-season career high with 18, besting his 17 last season.
"Logan seems to go up there very comfortable in the role and give us good at-bats," Cash said. "He's done a tremendous job of setting the table for a guy that hasn't really hit leadoff that much."
Farquhar's loses ring:Danny Farquhar threw a scoreless fifth, striking out one and walking one to post his sixth consecutive scoreless appearances. The right-hander has a 1.72 ERA with 23 strikeouts in his 13 appearances since being recalled from Triple-A Durham on Aug. 6. Jonathan Schoop was the final batter Farquhar faced and he hit a ball back to the mound that knocked off his glove, ricocheted to Forsythe and the Rays' second baseman threw to Logan Morrison at first for the final out of the inning. Farquhar lost more than his glove on the play as his wedding ring flew off his finger onto the field. Fortunately, Farquhar was able to find his ring with a little help from third baseman Evan Longoria.
"It's one of those things you don't plan on losing your wedding ring while you're pitching," Farquhar said. "I guess Schoop hit the ball so hard it knocked my glove off and the wedding ring. It was kind of embarrassing looking for it. But I'm happy it was the third out."
Davis exits: Davis exited in the fifth inning with left hand soreness. Michael Bourn entered the game in left field, while Steven Pearce moved from left to first base. Davis said the hand has been bugging him since April, and he didn't anticipate missing any time.
"It's pretty much been bothering me all season, but you keep playing through it," Davis said. "I think Buck saw a chance to give me a blow and jumped at the opportunity." More >
"You need more than a fastball, and even my fastball was even kind of spotty just for the location. I didn't really have any confidence in my changeup tonight, that's why I didn't really throw too many of them." -- Odorizzi, on his outing
"This is a tough place to play. You have to be a self-starter. You've got to get yourself ready to play because next thing you know, you can get ambushed. They're capable of good baseball. We faced one of the best pitchers in the American League today. … We had a lot of good at-bats after that first inning. I think we wore him down." -- Showalter, on facing Odorizzi at Tropicana Field
HOME RUN TROUBLES
The Rays recalled Steve Geltz on Tuesday and the right-hander's problems with the long ball continued. Geltz started the eighth for the Rays and Jones greeted him with a home run to center field on the first pitch. He has now surrendered 11 home runs in 22 innings this season.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Odorizzi took his first loss since before the All-Star break, having gone 6-0 since the Midsummer Classic.
WHAT'S NEXT Orioles:Dylan Bundy will get the ball for Wednesday's series finale vs. the Rays at 1:10 p.m. ET. The rookie right-hander bounced back from a five-run outing with 5 2/3 scoreless innings against the Yankees his last time out. He'll return to the mound at Tropicana Field, where he made his Major League starting debut July 17.
Rays:Drew Smyly (6-11, 4.94 ERA) makes his 27th start of the season after yielding five runs in his previous start against the Red Sox. All of the runs came via home runs, bringing his season total up to a career-high 29 homers. In nine career appearances (six starts) against the Orioles, he is 4-1 with a 3.22 ERA. The series finale starts at 1:10 p.m. ET on Wednesday.