O's stay in WC chase thanks to Ynoa, Machado

O's stay in WC chase thanks to Ynoa, Machado

BALTIMORE -- A day after sitting out with an illness, Orioles third baseman Manny Machado made everyone at Camden Yards feel better on Thursday. Machado snapped Baltimore's 26-inning scoreless stretch with a two-run first-inning homer. The blast, coupled with eight solid frames from righty Gabriel Ynoa, was enough for Baltimore to hang on for a 3-1 series-opening win over Tampa Bay.

Baltimore's victory, coupled with the Twins' win on Thursday, keeps the O's 5 1/2 games back of the second American League Wild Card spot -- just behind the Rays, who fall to five games behind Minnesota.

"Manny's still not feeling well, you know? I talked to him earlier and said, 'I'm going to make two lineups out. Let me know.' He thought he might get to feeling a little better as the day wore on. And I'm not so sure he did a whole lot," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "So, it's another example. We've got guys who post up. I hope everybody appreciates it. You've got to go somewhere else and see how hard that is to do. I fully appreciate it."

Source: O's have no plans to shop Machado

Machado, who has 33 homers on the year, went deep off Rays righty Matt Andriese to give the O's a lead they'd never relinquish. Trey Mancini drove in the third run with an RBI single while red-hot rookie Austin Hays chipped in with two more hits.

Austin's powers: Hays showing off hot bat

Machado's two-run home run

Ynoa, making his third start with the O's, turned in his best outing yet. He held Tampa Bay to one run on five hits with two walks. He also struck out three.

"Every game, I take it as it's the last game of my career," Ynoa said through interpreter Ramon Alarcon. "So I'm just trying to take advantage of these opportunities and show that I can help."

Ynoa starts a double play

Andriese turned in a quality start despite the rough beginning, going six innings and allowing all three runs. The Rays righty also struck out eight.

"Just looking at this outing," Andriese said, "giving up three runs in the first, at that point, I just want to turn that into a quality start and I was able to do that. It helps going into the next start."

Andriese strands two

Tampa Bay's lone run came on Daniel Robertson's single in the third, which Hays misplayed in right field, allowing Brad Miller to score from second.

Robertson returns invigorated by Triple-A title

Macho man: Machado continued his second-half surge with his two-run blast, which also scored Hays. Machado, named AL Player of the Month in August, has more than made up for a slow first half and now has 94 RBIs.

Showalter on win over Rays

Brach escapes: Tampa Bay brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the ninth inning with two outs, thanks to Steven Souza Jr.'s walk and a fielding error by shortstop J.J. Hardy that put runners on first and third. But Brach got pinch-hitter Kevin Kiermaier to fly out to secure the save.

Brach notches the save

"This is the thing that makes you go, 'OK, can he continue to do that?' As opposed to what? Tease us ...That's the equation you have to figure out. He did his part and he'll get the ball again. See if it continues against another team." -- Showalter, on the difficulty of evaluating Ynoa in late September

"I don't have the exact answer why. We would probably all agree that that's not the situation to go. We had a situation to put two guys on with nobody out. They had already lost a ball in the sky to get him there, but those are the little things we have to eliminate real quick because they really impact the game in a negative way." -- Rays manager Kevin Cash, on Mallex Smith getting thrown out trying to steal third with no outs in the first inning

Castillo nails Smith at third

Mancini continues his impressive rookie year, with a first-inning RBI single extending his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games.

"I feel good," Mancini said. "I'm just trying to put consistent at-bats together, be more relaxed and patient up there and try to get a good pitch to hit, so that's all I'm really focusing on."

Mancini's run-scoring single

Rays: Right-hander Alex Cobb (11-10, 3.63 ERA) makes his penultimate start of the season at 7:05 p.m. ET Friday in Baltimore. Cobb has won 11 games for the third time in his career, but he is seeking his first 12-win season.

Orioles: Ubaldo Jimenez will get the ball on Friday night for the second game against Tampa Bay at Camden Yards. Jimenez struck out 10 and allowed one earned run in five solid innings in his last time out. It was his highest strikeout total in a game this season.

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

Ben Raby is a contributor to MLB.com based in Baltimore and covered the Orioles on Thursday.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

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