BALTIMORE (AP) Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash said his team never lost confidence despite some struggles in the early part of the season.
Now, Tampa Bay is one of the hottest teams in baseball and Cash is looking to maintain that momentum.
C.J. Cron and Wilson Ramos homered and the Rays extended their winning streak to six games with a 9-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night.
It's the Rays' longest winning streak since a nine-game run from July 12-26, 2014.
''It's pretty exciting to sit back and watch us put runs on the board, especially when we were quiet for the earlier part of the year,'' Cash said. ''I am really impressed with the guys.''
Adam Jones had three hits, including his fourth home run of the season for the Orioles, who have lost 11 of 12 and are 1-5 on the current nine-game homestand. Manny Machado had two hits and earned his team-leading 18th RBI.
Danny Valencia cut the margin to 8-5 with a homer in the eighth. Baltimore tied a season-high with 16 hits.
''We were right there. We kept creating opportunities,'' Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. ''You'd like to think you could have a night where you put up eight or nine runs. We just couldn't get that big blow.''
Chris Archer (2-1) allowed four runs and 11 hits with seven strikeouts and one walk over 5 1/3 innings. Archer has yielded at least one home run in each of his six starts.
''You definitely want to compete and throw high-quality pitches,'' Archer said.
The Rays got off to a fast start against Dylan Bundy (1-3) when Denard Span led off the game with a walk and Cron followed with a homer. Ramos provided a 4-0 lead an inning later with another two-run shot.
''It's kind of just a one through nine effort. We're all swinging the bat well,'' Cron said. ''That doesn't happen very often in the big leagues. So, it's pretty cool to see us all click.''
Tampa Bay continued to pull away on RBI singles by Daniel Robertson and Ramos that boosted the margin to 6-0 in the third. Bundy had given up a total of five earned runs in his five previous starts.
''They got off to a hot start there in two innings, so I couldn't really slow them down,'' Bundy said.
The Orioles scored a pair of runs in the third on a double by Trey Mancini and a single by Machado. Joey Wendle and Mallex Smith answered for the Rays with RBI singles that increased the lead to 8-2 in the fifth.
Bundy allowed eight runs (seven earned) and a career-high 11 hits with four strikeouts and one walk over 4 2/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season.
Adeiny Hechavarria set a Rays franchise record for a shortstop by handling 242 consecutive chances without an error, breaking the previous mark set by Chris Gomez (2002). Hechavarria has not committed an error since July 20, 2017. . Jones earned his 557th extra-base hit with the Orioles, tying him with Boog Powell for fifth place in club history.
Rays: 3B Matt Duffy (right hamstring strain) played seven innings for Single-A Charlotte and went 2 for 3 with an RBI. ... RHP Nathan Eovaldi (elbow) threw 37 pitches off a mound. He could potentially throw a bullpen Saturday and then a live batting practice before going on a rehab assignment.
Orioles: 3B Tim Beckham underwent surgery for his injured groin and is expected to be out at least six weeks. ... DH Mark Trumbo (quad strain) will play rehab games for Triple-A Norfolk on Friday and Saturday. He could be activated from the DL on Tuesday.
Rays: Blake Snell (3-1, 2.54 ERA) is trying for his fourth consecutive victory when he starts the series opener Friday against Boston.
Orioles: Chris Tillman (0-4, 9.87 ERA) takes the mound in the opener of a three-game series Friday against the Tigers. Tillman has made 22 straight starts without a win, dating back to his first outing last season.
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