Orioles defeat Rays 3-2 in 14 innings

Associated Press Modified: September 13, 2012 at 10:03 pm •  Published: September 13, 2012
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BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles have too much else going on to be overly excited about ending their miserable run of 14 consecutive losing seasons.

Manny Machado blooped an RBI single that eluded left fielder Matt Joyce's desperate dive with two outs in the 14th inning, and Baltimore beat Tampa Bay 3-2 Thursday to complete a three-game sweep and remain atop the AL East.

With their 81st victory — and 13th in a row in extra innings — the Orioles are assured no worse than a .500 record for the first time since 1997.

"There's a bigger goal in mind," manager Buck Showalter said. "That wasn't the goal from Day One this spring. Really, Day One of the offseason. It's watching other teams for years and saying, 'We want to do what they're doing. We'd like to get a chair at the dance, you know?'"

It's been an incredible season for the Orioles, who finished in the cellar in each of the previous four years. Baltimore (81-62) remained in a first-place tie with the New York Yankees, who beat Boston 2-0 on Thursday night.

After briefly celebrating a victory that capped a 5-2 homestand against the Yankees and Rays, the Orioles packed in the clubhouse for a trip to Oakland.

"It makes that West Coast trip a little easier when you win," said closer Jim Johnson, part of a bullpen that kept Tampa Bay scoreless on four hits over the final 6 2-3 innings. "You can enjoy it for a little bit, the five hours you're on the flight, but that's about it."

The Rays fell four games back in the division by virtue of yet another one-run defeat punctuated by a lack of offensive punch. Tampa has lost 13 of its last 16 one-run games, including a 3-2 decision Wednesday night.

"It's just the same old story: We can't score enough runs," manager Joe Maddon said. "We pitched extremely well, we played well in the field overall, loved the effort."

But the Rays stranded 10 and went 1 for 7 with runners with scoring position. Tampa Bay left Camden Yards for Yankee Stadium to play a three-game series that begins Friday night.

Sixteen pitchers took part in the game, which lasted 5 hours, 14 minutes. Tampa Bay used a club-record 26 players, including nine pitchers.

After the Orioles squandered a bases-loaded, no-out threat in the 13th, Chris Archer (0-3) got the first two outs in the 14th before Adam Jones walked and Endy Chavez singled. Machado followed with a soft liner toward the line that Joyce trapped.

"I know it hit my glove on the bottom," Joyce said. "It was hard to tell what exactly happened. Only thing I can tell you is I didn't come up with it."

Machado, a 20-year-old rookie, scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth Wednesday night.

"I'm having a blast," Machado said. "This team is great to be around. It's a great group of guys. We're all excited. We're all having one goal, which is make the playoffs."



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