Pat Valaika hit soft, walk-off single into short right field to give the host Baltimore Orioles a 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday night.
Valaika came up with runners on first and third and two outs and blooped his single to right off Chaz Roe, who had just replaced Oliver Drake (0-2). The Orioles had a 4-1 lead heading into the eighth but couldn’t hold it.
Tampa Bay has lost the first two games of the series and four in a row overall. Travis Lakins (1-0) got the win in relief.
Wade LeBlanc has given Baltimore two good starts. He got the win in Boston last Sunday and then gave up one run on four hits in 5 1/3 innings on Saturday.
Tampa Bay starter Tyler Glasnow allowed two runs on three hits in 4 2/3 innings, walking three and striking out five. He ran into big trouble just once — in the fourth.
After Glasnow shut down the Orioles throughout the first three innings, Renato Nunez belted a long solo home run halfway into the seats in left field for a 1-0 lead to open the fourth. Later that inning, Dwight Smith singled and eventually moved to third on a steal and a fly ball. Rio Ruiz drove him in with a single for a 2-0 lead.
Mike Brousseau’s leadoff homer in the sixth cut the margin to 2-1. But the Orioles added two more runs in that frame, starting with a Pedro Severino RBI single for a 3-1 lead. Ruiz added a sacrifice fly to put the Orioles up, 4-1.
But the Rays tied the game with three runs in the top of the eighth. Baltimore pitcher Shawn Armstrong’s early error set things up, but Tampa Bay then took off. Jose Martinez blooped a single for two runs, and Brandon Lowe grounded into a force and made it 4-3.
The Rays then tied it on Kevin Kiermaier’s single, and it remained even until the 11th.