Lucas Duda hit a go-ahead, three-run homer to back Jake Odorizzi, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat Baltimore 9-6 on Saturday night to eliminate the Orioles from postseason contention.
Duda’s third-inning homer, his 30th overall and 13th since the Rays acquired him from the New York Mets, helped Tampa Bay build a 9-1 lead.
Baltimore (74-82), which closed with five runs in the ninth inning, is assured of finishing with a losing record for the first time since 2011. The Orioles are 6-17 following a seven-game winning streak.
Tampa Bay (76-79) remained five games behind Minnesota for the second AL wild card with seven games remaining.
Logan Morrison hit his 37th homer for the Rays during a four-run ninth. In a sloppy game, Tampa Bay made three errors and Baltimore two.
Odorizzi (10-8) allowed an unearned run and three hits in six innings and struck out nine, improving to 4-1 in his last five starts. With the tying run at the plate, Alex Colome retired Trey Mancini on a game-ending groundout for his major league-leading 46th save in 52 chances.
Jeremy Hellickson (2-6 with the Orioles and 8-11 overall) gave up three runs and four hits over six innings and dropped to 0-4 in his last five starts. Hellickson spent 2010-14 with the Rays and started against his former team for the first time.
A bad flip by Duda to Odorizzi covering first on Adam Jones’ first-inning infield single allowed Schoop to score from second base on the error.
Duda was in a 1-for–23 slide when he fouled off four straight pitches, then homered on the ninth pitch for a 3-1 lead in the third. Hellickson has given up 13 homers in 51 2/3 innings with the Orioles.
Orioles: Manager Buck Showalter said closer Zach Britton, who had a stem-cell injection into his ailing left knee on Friday, still is sore. “I think he’s got one more day before that starts going in the other direction,” Showalter said.
RHP Chris Archer (9-11, 4.02), who is 1-1 with a 6.39 ERA in two starts against Baltimore this season, starts for the Rays on Sunday. RHP Dylan Bundy (13-9, 4.24), who starts for the Orioles, is 1-1 with a 5.19 ERA in three starts versus Tampa Bay this season.
Republished with permission from the Associated Press.