The Tampa Bay Rays keep hanging on the fringe of contending for an American League wild card spot, while the Baltimore Orioles reached a dubious level of futility.
Matt Duffy had two hits and two RBIs to lead the host Rays to a 10-5 win over the Orioles on Saturday in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Rays stayed eight games behind Oakland for the second wild card spot, also trailing Seattle. Meanwhile, the Orioles fell to 60 games under .500 at 41-101.
The Rays jumped on the Orioles early, scoring four runs in the first to take a 4-0 lead.
Mallex Smith scored on a wild pitch from Baltimore starter David Hess (3-10), Ji-Man Choi hit a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0, Jake Bauers had an RBI single that made it 3-0 game and Willy Adames scored on a double-steal to give the Rays a 4-0 lead.
Joey Wendle had an RBI on a fielder’s choice to give the Rays a 5-0 lead in the second before the Orioles cut their deficit to 5-1 in the third on an RBI infield single by Jonathan Villar.
Baltimore cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 5-3 in the fourth on a two-run homer by Renato Nunez.
The Rays added two runs in the sixth when Adames scored on a wild pitch and Wendle hit a sacrifice fly.
Baltimore answered in the seventh, cutting the deficit to 7-5 on a two-run single by Villar.
But Tampa put the game away with three runs in the home half of the seventh.
A two-run single by Matt Duffy made it 9-5, and then an RBI single by Smith made it 10-5.
After right-hander Diego Castillo worked an inning as Tampa Bay’s “opening” pitcher, Ryan Yarbrough (14-5) came on and got the win, despite allowing six hits, three runs and two walks in 3 2/3 innings.
The Rays used eight pitchers overall.
–Field Level Media