EditorsNote: Corrected Givens W-L record in 6th graf; other minor fixes throughout
Renato Nunez hit a three-run homer to cap the Orioles’ six-run ninth inning, and Baltimore emerged with a 9-6 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night in St. Petersburg, Fla.
With the score 3-3 entering the ninth, pinch hitter Anthony Santander drew a leadoff walk against Rays closer Jose Alvarado and eventually scored on a fielder’s choice by pinch hitter Pedro Severino.
Jonathan Villar followed with a run-scoring triple to center, then scored on an error on Rays catcher Mike Zunino, who dropped the ball on the tag of Villar at home following Trey Mancini’s grounder to short.
Nunez crushed his 19th homer to left field two batters later as Baltimore sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning.
Rio Ruiz went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer, and Nunez and Hanser Alberto each had two hits for the Orioles, who broke their three-game losing skid.
Mychal Givens (1-4) collected the win after throwing a scoreless eighth.
Shawn Armstrong earned his second save by retiring Tommy Pham — the potential tying run — on a called third strike with a full count. Pham was the only batter Armstrong faced after the Rays scored three times in the bottom of the ninth against Richard Bleier.
Starter John Means, Baltimore’s lone All-Star selection, took a no-decision after pitching seven innings and allowing six hits and three runs (two earned). He struck out five without issuing a walk.
Playing in just his fourth major league game, Tampa Bay’s Mike Brosseau (2-for-4) hit his first career home run, and Guillermo Heredia went 3-for-4 with two doubles.
The Rays tossed a bullpen game, with opener Ryne Stanek throwing a scoreless first inning. Alvarado (0-5), the third of four relievers, allowed all six runs (five earned) in the ninth as the Rays had their four-game winning streak snapped.
The bottom of the Rays’ order set the table in the third inning with consecutive one-out singles by Joey Wendle and Heredia.
Travis d’Arnaud followed with a grounder to third baseman Ruiz, whose throw to second to start a potential double play went wide and allowed Wendle to score an unearned run.
Ruiz atoned for the error in the fourth, slugging his fifth homer on a 92 mph fastball from reliever Austin Pruitt to right-center field, scoring Alberto and Chris Davis.
Brosseau reached out and lofted a solo homer off Means’ changeup in the bottom of the fourth to cut Baltimore’s lead to 3-2.
The Rays tied it 3-3 when Avisail Garcia blooped a single to right to score Yandy Diaz in the sixth.
Brosseau, Wendle and Heredia added RBIs in the bottom of the ninth.
—Field Level Media