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Rays Vs. Orioles: J.J. Hardy Leads Baltimore Past Tampa Bay, 9-2

In a key late-season American League East matchup, the Baltimore Orioles topped the Tampa Bay Rays behind J.J. Hardy's four hits and five RBI, 9-2.

Rays starter Matt Moore was unable to hold the Orioles hot lineup in check, giving up three runs — two of which were earned — in four innings. Reliever Burke Badenhop came in to start the fifth inning, but was not effective in his one-third of an inning pitched, giving up two earned runs while just retiring one batter. In total, the Rays' bullpen gave up four runs in five innings of work.

Hardy hit two two-run shots, both of which scored Nate McLouth, to highlight his strong showing.

The Rays' runs were gained from solo home runs hit in the third inning by third baseman Ryan Roberts and in the eighth by Elliot Johnson.

In relief of Orioles starter Jason Hammel — who left with an injury — the Baltimore bullpen went 5.1 innings and gave up just one earned run, Johnson's solo homer. Steve Johnson pitched 1.1 innings of hitless ball in relief and recorded the win.

For more Rays coverage, check out DRaysBay.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.