ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Zach Britton had his third consecutive solid start, J.J. Hardy drove in two runs and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Friday night.
Britton (9-9) allowed two runs and four hits in six innings. The left-hander was coming off starts against Minnesota and the New York Yankees where he gave up one run in a combined 12 innings. Vladimir Guerrero got Baltimore’s second hit off David Price (12-12) on a leadoff single in the seventh when the Orioles scored all their runs.
Guerrero went to third when Mark Reynolds and Robert Andino drew one-out walks. After Nolan Reimold hit a sacrifice fly and Ryan Adams re-loaded the bases on an infield single, Hardy put Baltimore up 3-2 with a two-run single.
Price was touched for three runs and four hits over seven innings. The AL All-Star, who struck out a team-record 14 in a 12-0 victory over Toronto last Sunday, had 11 strikeouts and three walks.
Evan Longoria gave the Rays a 2-0 lead on a two-run double in the first. He has 60 RBIs over his last 64 games.
After Jim Johnson threw two perfect innings, Kevin Gregg gave up one hit and two walks in the ninth en route to his 20th save. Pinch-hitter Sam Fuld opened the Rays’ ninth with a single and went to second on Sean Rodriguez’s one-out grounder. After Casey Kotchman and pinch-hitter Matt Joyce both walked to load the bases, Brandon Guyer hit a game-ending grounder.
The Orioles had two on with no outs during the second, but failed to score when Reynolds and Andino both struck out, and Reimold flied out.
After Guerrero drew just his 14th walk of the season leading off the second, Matt Wieters followed with an opposite-field single to right for the Orioles’ first hit. Price then retired his next 14 batters before Nick Markakis reached first on a two-out throwing error by third baseman Longoria in the sixth.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)