Tampa Bay at Baltimore

Tampa Bay
W: J. Niemann (3-3) L: B. Bergesen (1-1)
S: J. Howell (1)
HR: TB - J. Bartlett (5)   BAL - T. Wigginton (2), B. Roberts (5), F. Pie (2)

Rays 8, Orioles 6

CBSSports.com wire reports

BALTIMORE -- Troy Percival watched the Tampa Bay Rays erupt for four ninth-inning runs and knew he wouldn't be pitching in a save situation. Then the veteran closer felt stronger than he had in two years, only to almost cough up a lopsided lead.

Willie Aybar hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the sixth inning and Tampa Bay beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-6 on Wednesday night.

Jason Bartlett matched a career high with his fifth home run of the season for the Rays, who put together a big ninth against Bob McCrory and held on after the Orioles rallied in the bottom half. Bartlett and B.J. Upton finished with three hits each and Dioner Navarro had two RBI.

"It's a good thing we got those runs [in the ninth]. It turned out we needed them," Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford said.

Jeff Niemann (3-3) struggled through five innings, but picked up his third victory in four decisions. The right-hander allowed two runs and eight hits.

The Rays sent Percival to the mound to protect an 8-2 lead. Cesar Izturis led off with a double and scored on Brian Roberts' fifth home run. Felix Pie followed with his second to get Baltimore within three.

"Strongest my arm has felt in two years and I was just throwing the ball down the middle," Percival said. "I guess I should have treated it more like a one-run game. ... Never get upset when we win a game. If we had lost that game, I would have been upset."

Rays manager Joe Maddon didn't second-guess summoning Percival -- or his decision to remove him for J.P. Howell once the Orioles had closed the gap.

"I don't like to dwell on the potential negativity," Maddon said. "We were watching the potential runs coming up. It did not have a good flavor to it at that point, so we had to do something. J.P. usually throws a lot of groundballs."

Percival departed after yielding a one-out double to Aubrey Huff, and Melvin Mora greeted Howell with an RBI single. Powell then retired Lou Montanez and Ty Wigginton on fielder's choice grounders to record his first save.

"We came up a hit short. ... We needed to put up a zero late in the game and we didn't do it," manager Dave Trembley said.

Wigginton finished with three hits, including a home run, for Baltimore.

The Rays chased Brad Bergesen (1-1) with a two-run sixth. Carlos Pena led off with a double and scored on Aybar's single to right. Tampa Bay then loaded the bases before Navarro's sacrifice fly made it 4-2.

Bergesen gave up four runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings.

"It's such a funny game. I thought I had the best stuff I've had all year," Bergesen said. "That last inning, I left a couple of balls up and they took advantage of it."

Bartlett tied it at 1 in the third with his fifth home run in 33 games this season. He had five home runs in 140 games for Minnesota in 2007.

"He is hitting the ball with more authority than we had anticipated," Maddon said.


Baltimore's Adam Jones left with a mild right hamstring strain after hitting an RBI single in the fourth and was replaced by pinch-runner Pie, who took over in center. Pie was supposed to have been unavailable following a bout with food poisoning that caused him to depart Tuesday's game after three innings. ... Plate umpire Tom Hallion was struck in the right hand by Bergesen's wild pitch in the third. He was attended to by an Orioles trainer but remained in the game after a brief delay. ... Crawford left after 4½ innings with a bruised right shoulder. He hurt himself making a diving grab of Huff's sinking liner in left field to end the fourth. ... Bartlett's stolen base in the sixth gave Tampa Bay a swipe in 15 consecutive games. ... After the game, the Orioles optioned McCrory to Triple-A Norfolk to clear a roster spot for OF Nolan Reimold, who will be recalled from Norfolk on Thursday.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Players of the Game

B. Roberts
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
Tampa Bay

J. Bartlett
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1

Related Video

Tampa Bay Rays
B.J. Upton, CF6031012 .179
Carl Crawford, LF3000002 .329
    Ben Zobrist, LF2021100 .274
Evan Longoria, 3B6000027 .346
Carlos Pena, 1B3320200 .262
Willy Aybar, DH3111202 .273
Gabe Gross, RF5111015 .255
Akinori Iwamura, 2B5020002 .282
Jason Bartlett, SS4231112 .369
Dioner Navarro, C3112010 .190
2B - B.J. Upton (6, Bergesen), Ben Zobrist (6, Ray), Carlos Pena 2 (8, Bergesen, Bergesen)
HR - Jason Bartlett (5, Bergesen)
SF - Dioner Navarro (1)
SH - Dioner Navarro (4)
RBI - B.J. Upton (4), Ben Zobrist (14), Willy Aybar (3), Gabe Gross (6), Jason Bartlett (14), Dioner Navarro 2 (7)
2-OUT RBI - B.J. Upton (3), Ben Zobrist (6), Dioner Navarro (4)
SB - Jason Bartlett (9, 2nd base off Ray/Moeller)
Team LOB - 13
DP - Shouse-Bartlett-Pena
Tampa Bay Rays
Jeff Niemann (W,3-3) 5822321 5.35
Lance Cormier (H,1) 1000010 2.39
Brian Shouse (H,4) 1100000 3.86
Dan Wheeler (H,5) 1100010 6.23
Troy Percival 0.1444002 6.00
J.P. Howell (S,1) 0.2100000 3.00
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Niemann 88-52, Lance Cormier 15-10, Brian Shouse 14-10, Dan Wheeler 11-9, Troy Percival 19-10, J.P. Howell 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Niemann 3-9, Lance Cormier 1-1, Brian Shouse 1-1, J.P. Howell 2-0
Batters Faced - Jeff Niemann 25, Lance Cormier 3, Brian Shouse 3, Dan Wheeler 4, Troy Percival 5, J.P. Howell 3
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B4222110 .288
Adam Jones, CF3021000 .370
    Felix Pie, PR-CF2121000 .206
Nick Markakis, RF5010015 .344
Aubrey Huff, 1B4120101 .275
Melvin Mora, 3B5011003 .254
Lou Montanez, LF4000111 .220
Ty Wigginton, DH5131011 .222
Chad Moeller, C3000002 .212
   a- Gregg Zaun, PH-C1000001 .212
Cesar Izturis, SS4120000 .255
a-flied out for Moeller in the 8th
2B - Brian Roberts (9, Niemann), Aubrey Huff (10, Percival), Ty Wigginton (4, Niemann), Cesar Izturis (5, Percival)
HR - Brian Roberts (5, Percival), Felix Pie (2, Percival), Ty Wigginton (2, Niemann)
RBI - Brian Roberts 2 (15), Adam Jones (26), Felix Pie (3), Melvin Mora (13), Ty Wigginton (11)
SB - Brian Roberts (5, 3rd base off Niemann/Navarro), Cesar Izturis (7, 2nd base off Niemann/Navarro)
CS - Aubrey Huff (2, 2nd base by Niemann/Navarro)
Team LOB - 10
Baltimore Orioles
Brad Bergesen (L,1-1) 5.2944131 5.27
Chris Ray 1.1100120 6.35
Jamie Walker 0.1200000 2.70
Bob McCrory 1.2344410 9.00
IBB - Aybar by Brad Bergesen, Pena by Chris Ray
WP - Brad Bergesen (1), Bob McCrory (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Brad Bergesen 96-61, Chris Ray 21-12, Jamie Walker 5-3, Bob McCrory 48-25
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Bergesen 9-5, Jamie Walker 1-0, Bob McCrory 2-2
Batters Faced - Brad Bergesen 27, Chris Ray 6, Jamie Walker 3, Bob McCrory 12
Game Information
Attendance - 13237
Game Time - 3:26
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Tom Hallion, First Base - Jerry Crawford, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Todd Tichenor