ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Matt Joyce's lead-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Tampa Bay Rays an 8-7 comeback win over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday at Tropicana Field.
The walk-off hit was the first for Joyce, who sparked a three-run seventh-inning rally with a lead-off bunt single.
Brian Roberts' double into the left-field corner off closer Fernando Rodney scored Nolan Reimold from first to send the game to the bottom of the ninth. Reimold led off with a walk against Rodney, who was 48-for-50 in save opportunities last season but blew his first chance of 2013. He earned the win.
The Rays survived another torrid night from Baltimore first baseman Chris Davis, who tied a career-high with four hits, including his second home run of the season and two doubles.
Desmond Jennings, Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria went 2-for-4 for the Rays and Shelly Duncan had three RBIs with a homer.
Tampa Bay used three pinch-hitters to take a 7-5 lead in the seventh, with Joyce sparking the rally with a bunt single against an exaggerated shift, and with two out James Loney raking an RBI double into the left-field corner for a 6-5 lead. Zobrist's RBI single upped the lead to 7-5. The Rays had tied the game earlier in the inning on a wild pitch from reliever Pedro Strop, who allowed three runs on four hits.
The Orioles cut the margin to 7-6 in the eighth when Matt Wieters singled home Davis, who had doubled.
Baltimore took a 5-4 lead in the seventh after surrendering a three-run edge. Nolan Reimold began the trouble for Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson with a walk and took second on a Brian Roberts single. He scored on a Nate McLouth single. Reliever Kyle Farnsworth entered to coerce an inning-ending double play.
Hellickson was charged with five earned runs on eight hits in 6.1 innings. He struck out two and walked one.
Tampa Bay tied the game 4-4 with four two-out runs in the bottom of the sixth. Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen left with a 4-1 lead, two out and Jennings on via a double before Luis Ayala surrendered three hits, including an RBI single by Zobrist and a three-run homer to Duncan to ruin his decision. Every run in the game through six innings was scored with two outs.
Chen allowed two earned runs on seven hits, with four strikeouts.
Baltimore led 4-0 in the sixth after Davis singled in his fourth RBI, scoring Machado, who had led off with a double and taken third on a flyout.
After scoring seven two-out runs in a 7-4 Opening Day victory, the Orioles struck for three more in the first inning on Wednesday against Jeremy Hellickson. Chris Davis delivered his second three-run homer of the season, this time to left, to score Nick Markakis and Adam Jones, who reached on two-out singles.
The Rays touched Chen for lead-off singles in the first three innings, but subsequently hit into three double plays.
Davis continued to clobber the Orioles with a one-out double off the wall in the fourth, but Hellickson retired the next two batters on groundouts to keep the Rays within three.
NOTES: The first 10 runs scored by the Orioles in 2013 came with two outs. ... Tampa Bay had leadoff singles and hit into double plays in the first three innings. ... David Price's 13-pitch walk to Matt Wieters in the third inning Tuesday was the most pitches thrown in a walk by a Rays pitcher. ... Rodney entered the game with an active scoreless streak of 19 innings over 19 appearances. Counting the World Baseball Classic, he has made 32 straight scoreless appearances. ... Baltimore second baseman Brian Roberts (2-for-4) had his first multi-hit game since June 22, 2012 on Opening Day. He played just 17 games because of injuries.