Rays pitcher Matt Moore, staked to a three-run lead before he took the mound, retired the first 13 Orioles hitters before Chris Davis doubled with one out in the fifth and J.J. Hardy brought him home with a two-out single. The Orioles offense would erupt an inning later and score four times to overtake the Rays and carry rookie reliever Ashur Tolliver to his first major league victory.
Orioles starter Yovani Gallardo got off to a rocky start, allowing the first four batters to hit safely in the first inning. Logan Forsythe led off with a double and Corey Dickerson hit a two-run home run on Gallardo’s fourth pitch of the game. Evan Longoria followed with a double and Logan Morrison singled home the Rays’ third run.
In all, Gallardo allowed six batters to reach base in the first inning, but settled in to hold the Rays (31-40) scoreless from the second inning until his pitch count neared 100 in the sixth inning.
Adam Jones got the big rally started with one out in the sixth, hammering his 14th home run of the season to make it a one-run game. Jonathan Schoop and Manny Machado followed with consecutive singles and Mark Trumbo worked Moore for a nine-pitch walk to load the bases for Davis.
It took just a long single to bring all three runners home. Davis lined a ball into right-center field that scored two runs and Forsythe’s relay throw home skipped past catcher Hank Conger for an error that allowed Trumbo to sprint home and give the Orioles (42-30) a 5-3 lead.
Machado, just back from his four-game suspension, topped off the evening with his 18th home run of the year in the eighth.
Tolliver got the final two outs of the sixth and got credit for the victory, but it was an impressive all-around bullpen effort. Odrisamer Despaigne came on to pitch a perfect seventh, Brad Brach pitched a scoreless eighth and Zach Britton finished up to record his American League-leading 22nd save.