ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Renato Nunez hit a three-run homer to complete a six-run ninth inning, and the Baltimore Orioles held on for a 9-6 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night.
Nunez’s 19th home run came off Jose Alvarado (0-5) after an RBI triple by Jonathan Villar. The blast put the Orioles up 9-3 before Tampa Bay tried to rally in the bottom of the ninth. Shawn Armstrong came in to get the final out with two runners on base and earn his second save.
The Rays had their four-game winning streak snapped. They entered the day 5 1/2 games behind the AL East-leading New York Yankees.
Relief pitcher Mychal Givens (1-4) got his first win since Sept. 24, 2017, after lunging to tag out a sliding Kevin Kiermaier near the plate, preventing the Rays from taking a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the eighth. Givens had lost 11 straight decisions.
Rookie All-Star left-hander John Means started for Baltimore and pitched seven innings, leaving after throwing 98 pitches.
Means, who has not lost in seven starts since May 18, gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits, walking none while striking out five.
After his throwing error helped the Rays score the game’s first run, Rio Ruiz lifted a three-run homer off Austin Pruitt into the right-field seats, his fifth of the season, accounting for all of the Orioles’ scoring until the ninth.
Mike Brosseau’s first career home run drove in the first earned run off Means in the fourth inning, and the Rays tied it at 3 in the sixth on a double by Yandy Diaz and a single by Avisail Garcia.
Rays opener Ryne Stanek pitched only the first inning, striking out two.
The crowd of 21,545 brought the total for the three-game series to 62,911. About 30,000 tickets were sold for $2 apiece.
Orioles: LHP Josh Rogers had UCL revision surgery in Dallas, a procedure that has a recovery projection similar to that of Tommy John surgery. … OF D.J. Stewart (right ankle sprain) will continue his rehab at Double-A Bowie.
Rays: Kiermaier was scratched from the lineup about 90 minutes before the first pitch due to left wrist soreness. He pinch ran in the eighth. . 2B Brandon Lowe was added to the AL All-Star team but may not play due to a bruised lower right leg, an injury that happened on a foul ball Tuesday. … INF Matt Duffy, on the IL with a strained left hamstring, is expected to play for the Gulf Coast League Rays on Thursday.
Orioles: RHP Dylan Bundy (3-10) will pitch the opener of a three-game series at Toronto against RHP Aaron Sanchez (3-11) on Friday night.
Rays: RHP Yonny Chrinos (7-4) will pitch Thursday night’s opener of a four-game series against the Yankees. LHP J.A. Happ (7-4) will pitch for New York for the first time since giving up eight earned runs in a loss to Houston on June 23.
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