O's fall to Rays, drop three back in East

O's fall to Rays, drop three back in East

BALTIMORE -- Evan Longoria continued to torment the Orioles, launching his third homer in as many nights and scoring three times to lead the Rays to a 5-2 win Saturday night at Camden Yards.

The O's second loss in three nights to Tampa Bay drops them three games back of Boston in the American League East. Baltimore remains tied with Toronto for the top AL Wild Card spot. The Blue Jays currently hold the tiebreaker 9-7 over the Orioles, but the two teams meet for a three game set in Toronto later this month.

Orioles starter Chris Tillman held the Rays hitless until Longoria sliced a triple down the right-field line with one out in the fourth. After beating a throw home on Brad Miller's grounder to first, Longoria led off the sixth with his eighth career blast off Tillman. Longoria finished 2-for-4, giving him eight RBIs and five runs in the series.

Recap: TB 5, BAL 2

"I feel like we did a pretty good job throughout, making pitches when we needed to," Tillman said. "Just a couple swings beat us. They threw the ball better."

The Rays added the go-ahead run on Richie Shaffer's two-out double in the sixth to chase Tillman, who was making his second start since returning from the disabled list. Mikie Mahtook contributed a two-out, two-run bloop single in the eighth to pad the lead.

In 5 1/3 innings, Matt Andriese limited the Orioles to sacrifice flies in the first and third innings to pick up his second straight victory after seven consecutive defeats. Alex Colome picked up his 34th save with a scoreless ninth.

Colome notches the save

"Good win, a Rays win," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We pitched well. Everybody came in and did their part. Andriese started it. He had some nasty stuff going, you could tell from the side."

After the Orioles went 6-3 on a key September road trip, they've dropped two of the first three games in their final homestand.

"Right now they are throwing a little curveball into the standings with us and how they did with Toronto," Adam Jones said. "You tip your cap to them for not quitting and not giving up. I know once the [regular] season's over, their season is done, but you've got to respect what they're doing and grinding until the last out of the last game."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Shaffer coming through: Shaffer hit his first home run of the season Friday night. On Saturday night, he came through with an RBI double that put the Rays on top, 3-2. With Logan Morrison out for the season and Nick Franklin nursing a strained left hamstring, the Rays' 2012 first-round pick out of Clemson should get plenty of at-bats as the season winds down.

Shaffer's RBI double

"Ultimately, Richie, we want him going into the offseason feeling good about himself, just like all of our guys," Cash said. "And he is going to get opportunities to go out there and play. He's done a nice job defensively, and the big hits have been welcome." More >

Davis' error leads to runs: Usually sure-handed first baseman Chris Davis couldn't handle a sharp grounder from Longoria to start the eighth, and it contributed to two insurance runs for the Rays. While Oliver Drake was able to get the next two outs, he loaded the bases by allowing a two-out single and walk. Mahtook recorded a bloop single off Mychal Givens, resulting in two unearned runs off Drake that gave Tampa Bay its only cushion.

Mahtook's two-run single

Manufacturing runs: After using small ball to mount a late comeback Friday night, the Orioles continued to manufacture runs Saturday. Their runs came on sacrifice flies after groundouts moved runners over to third base. In the first, Hyun Soo Kim moved Adam Jones over to third before Manny Machado lofted a sac fly into right field. Then in the third, it was Jones who moved runners over for Kim to deliver the run-scoring fly ball.

Kim's sac fly in the 3rd

"It's about scoring runs, however you do it," O's manager Buck Showalter said. "Manny had a good at-bat, we got ahead. Kim had a couple productive at-bats. Adam had a productive out that set us up for that run. You like to do that, but it's about scoring runs regardless how you do it."

Three in a row: Longoria didn't homer in the first, but he still went deep for the third consecutive game when he hit a 3-2 pitch from Tillman over the wall in left, extending his career high for homers in a single season to 35 and tying the game at 2. The Rays' third baseman homered in the first inning of the first two games. Longoria also tripled with one out in the fourth, giving the Rays their first hit, then scored the club's first run.

Longo's smooth play at third

"Just taking advantage of the pitches I should hit," said Longoria, who has four homers in his past six games.

QUOTABLE
"I don't get into that mentality that this has to happen, that has to happen. Our guys will show up and compete their butt off. We'll do what needs to be done, and if it leads to a win, so be it. Our guys understand. They don't need me stating the obvious." -- Showalter, on the importance of Sunday's game

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Longoria has 35 home runs, surpassing Jose Canseco for the most by a Rays right-handed hitter in a season.

ANDRIESE KEEPS BALL IN YARD
Andriese earned the win and did not allow a home run, which snapped a seven-game streak in which he surrendered at least one homer in each of those starts.

Andriese fans Wieters

WHAT'S NEXT
Rays: Jake Odorizzi (9-6, 3.81 ERA) starts for the Rays in Sunday's 1:35 p.m. ET series finale at Camden Yards, looking for his 10th win. He is 6-1 with a 2.78 ERA in 11 starts since the All-Star break, compared to 3-5 with a 4.47 ERA in the first half.

Orioles: Wade Miley (8-13, 5.80) will try to bounce back from his shortest start of the season. The lefty recorded just four outs against Boston his last time out, raising his ERA to 8.41 in eight starts since the Orioles acquired him at the non-waiver Trade Deadline. Miley has enjoyed success against the Rays, though, going 4-2 with a 2.81 ERA in eight career starts.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Ryan Baillargeon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.