O'Hearn's big hit leads Orioles past Rays after blowing 5-run lead
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Ryan O'Hearn had a pinch-hit RBI single in the ninth inning and the AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles rebounded after blowing a five-run lead to beat the Tampa Bay Rays for the second time in three days, 6-5 on Saturday.
The Orioles, who have won 11 of 14, took a one-game lead over the second-place Rays. Baltimore started July 6 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay, which dropped to an AL-worst 4-13 in July.
The four-game series concludes Sunday.
Pinch-hitter Adam Frazier had a ninth-inning leadoff single off Pete Fairbanks (0-4), went to second on James McCann's sacrifice bunt on a hight-and-tight pitch and scored on O'Hearn's liner to right.
“Can we talk about McCann's bunt?” O'Hearn said. “That should be circulating on the internet because that is unbelievable that he got that bunt down.
“It says everything about our team. We jumped out early. They crawled back in, and then we find a way to scratch a run there. I think it was a special win.”
Cionel Pérez (3-1) got the final out in the eighth, and Félix Bautista worked a perfect ninth to get his 27th save before a sellout crowd of 25,025 that include a large number of Orioles' fans.
“There's definitely some added intensity,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. “The crowd was electric. It's the loudest I've ever seen it here. It's been a lot of fun.”
Rays All-Star Shane McClanahan was bidding to become the majors’ first 12-game winner but lasted just four innings, allowing five runs, five hits and three walks. The lefty, who threw 86 pitches, was making his second start after spending 17 days on the injured list because of mid-back tightness.
“I'm not going to make any excuses,” McClanahan said. “I've got to be better. I'm very frustrated, and this team deserve a better than that performance I just gave them.”
McClanahan, from Baltimore, was 6-0 with a 2.14 ERA in eight previous starts against the Orioles.
Baltimore rookie Grayson Rodriguez gave up two runs and three hits over 5 2/3 innings in his second start after spending two months in the minors.
Tampa Bay completed the comeback from a five-run deficit when pinch-hitter Manuel Margot and Yandy Díaz both drew walks from Shintaro Fujinami to begin the eighth and moved up a base on a wild pitch. After Wander Franco had an RBI grounder, Randy Arozarena tied it at 5 on a run-scoring single that took a tricky bounce past shortstop Jorge Mateo.
Ryan Mountcastle singled with one out in the fourth off McClanahan for the Orioles' first hit and aggressively advanced to third on Gunnar Henderson's flare base-hit to left. After Ramón Urías walked to load the bases, McCann and Mateo had consecutive two-out two-run doubles before Austin Hays added an RBI double to make it 5-0.
Rodriguez had allowed just an infield single to Jose Siri in the third before Siri doubled in the sixth after Josh Lowe opened the inning with a walk. Franco ended the right-hander's day and pulled the Rays to 5-2 on a two-run single with two outs.
Yennier Cano entered with two on and one out in the seventh and gave up a run-scoring single to Isaac Paredes that cut the Rays' deficit to 5-3.
Henderson made a nifty defensive play at third base in the fifth, diving toward the line to snare Paredes' liner and then throw to first and double up Brandon Lowe. ... Mountcastle saved a run with diving grab at first base on Josh Lowe's seventh-inning grounder
Rays: INF Taylor Walls went on the 10-day injured list with a left oblique strain and could miss four to six weeks. … LHP Josh Fleming (left elbow inflammation) worked two perfect innings in his first game with the rookie-level FCL Rays.
Orioles RHP Tyler Wells (7-5) and Rays RHP Taj Bradley (5-6) are set to start Sunday.