One inning later, Mora made it happen.
Mora singled in the winning run with two outs in the 11th inning, and the Baltimore Orioles overcame three Tampa Bay homers and a four-run deficit in a 6-5 victory Wednesday night.
Rleal (1-1) pitched two innings of one-hit ball to earn his first major league victory and cap a marvelous job by the Baltimore bullpen. Five Orioles relievers combined to blank the Devil Rays on three hits over the final seven innings.
“I told Sendy that if Matos gets on base, we’re going to score,” Mora said.
Matos singled and took second on a sacrifice bunt by Nick Markakis. After Brian Roberts lined out to left, Mora hit a 3-2 pitch into the left-field corner that eluded Carl Crawford and bounced off the wall, scoring Matos without a throw.
“I was just talking to the ball: ‘Get down ball, get down ball,”’ Mora said.
The baseball complied, and the Orioles had their third straight victory.
Baltimore trailed 5-1 in the fifth before rallying to hand the Devil Rays their season-high sixth straight loss. Tampa Bay is 1-8 on a 10-game road trip that ends Thursday.
“It sure leaves a sour taste to leave the stadium with a loss, especially like this,” said Tampa Bay center fielder Joey Gathright, whose misplay of a fly ball helped fuel Baltimore’s comeback.
Crawford hit a three-run homer, and Toby Hall and Damon Hollins added solo shots for the Devil Rays. All three connected off Bruce Chen, who has yielded a major league-high 17 home runs this season—including seven in two starts against Tampa Bay.
“They came in and it was lights out,” Hollins said.
Making his major league debut, Devil Rays starter James Shields allowed five runs and nine hits in five innings. The right-hander struck out five and walked three.
Down 5-1, the Orioles pulled even with a four-run fifth. Jeff Conine received credit for a double when Gathright lost his fly ball in the lights, and Kevin Millar followed with an RBI double before Markakis and Ramon Hernandez delivered run-scoring singles.
Shields ended his stint on a positive note by retiring Conine on a fly ball with the bases loaded and two outs.
“Shields threw the ball well. We lost the ball in the twilight and that opened the door to them a little bit,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said.
The four-run uprising enabled Chen to avoid falling to 0-6. The left-hander allowed five runs in four innings, a performance that lifted his ERA to 7.71.
“I thought I had good control early in the game, but I left some pitches up and they cost me,” Chen said.
Crawford gave Tampa Bay a 3-0 lead in the third inning with his fifth homer, a drive that cleared the 25-foot scoreboard in right.
Conine doubled and scored on a single by Markakis in the bottom half, but Hall and Hollins connected in the fourth to put the Devil Rays up 5-1. It was Hall’s seventh homer and Hollins’ sixth, the second in two nights.
But the lead wouldn’t last.
“We can’t let morale slip. It’s a loss, it’s not good, but there were a lot of good things in that game,” Maddon said. “You can’t let these close games drag you down.”
All six of Hollins’ homers have been solo shots. … Baltimore’s Miguel Tejada grounded into two DPs, giving him an AL-high 12 this season. … Orioles RHP Daniel Cabrera, on the 15-day DL with a strained shoulder, pitched four hitless innings against Erie in a rehab stint with Double-A Bowie. He struck out seven and walked one. … Baltimore is 1-1 in extra innings; Tampa Bay is 2-2.