Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) – Corey Patterson homered and drove in three runs and Nick Markakis went 2-for-5 with a pair of runs batted in to lead Baltimore to an 8-7 win over Tampa Bay in a back and forth affair to close a three-game series.
Brian Roberts went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and an RBI for the Orioles, who took the last two games and have won six of their last nine.
Alfredo Simon (4-2) got the win in relief with a scoreless inning and Koji Uehara fanned two in retiring the side in order in the ninth to earn his sixth save.
Evan Longoria, B.J. Upton and Rocco Baldelli all hit two-run homers in defeat for the Rays, who remain 2 1/2 games behind front-running New York in the AL East after the Yankees fell at home to Toronto.
Dan Wheeler (2-2) was charged with the loss after giving up two runs on two walks after getting just one out for Tampa Bay, which still leads the season series, 10-5.
Roberts singled to lead off the first, stole second and advanced to third on an errant pickoff attempt and came into score when Markakis ripped a single to right field.
A Markakis stolen bases and walks to Luke Scott and Felix Pie filled the bases for Patterson, who brought home Markakis with a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead.
Ben Zobrist’s solo homer with two outs in the third halved the lead but the Birds responded in the bottom half of the frame with Patterson’s two-out, two- run blast over the high wall in right to give the hosts a 4-1 advantage.
Tampa then played long ball in the sixth to move in front for the first time.
Carl Crawford opened the inning with a single and scored when Longoria followed with a two-run blast to center.
After Matt Joyce flied out, Tillman was lifted from the game and replaced by Jim Johnson, who quickly coughed up the lead.
Reid Brignac greeted Johnson with a pinch-hit single and scored when Upton clubbed his 14th homer of the year to left-center to put the Rays ahead 5-4.
Wade Davis allowed four runs on six hits and three walks while fanning five and left with a 5-4 lead that he turned over to Wheeler, who was lifted with one out in the sixth after back-to-back walks.
Chad Qualls assumed the hill and did not meet with any success after he gave up a base hit to Josh Bell that plated Craig Tatum with the tying run. Roberts then doubled off the top of the wall in left-center to chase home Cesar Izturis with the go-ahead run before Markakis singled to center to deliver Bell to give the Birds a 7-5 lead.
Ty Wigginton walked to load the bases and Randy Choate came on to replace Qualls and allowed a sacrifice fly by Scott that restored the home team’s three-run cushion.
Tampa drew within one on Baldelli’s pinch-hit homer in the seventh off Mike Gonzalez.
Tillman, who was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk to make the start, was charged with three runs on six hits and three walks over 5 1/3 innings in his first start since meeting Davis and the Rays on July 19…Davis had won his first three career starts against the O’s and had allowed only two earned runs in 24 innings before Sunday…The Rays were stalled in garnering their franchise- best 41st road victory of the season…Tampa Bay travels to Boston to face the Red Sox for the final time this year in a three-game set, while the Birds open a three-game series against the Yankees Monday.
09/05 17:33:33 ET