Baltimore, MD – Jeremy Hellickson pitched into the seventh inning to record his first win in more than two months, as the Rays held off the Baltimore Orioles, 3-1, in the opener of a three-game series.
Brooks Conrad belted the go-ahead two-run homer in the fifth inning for the Rays, who opened their nine-game road trip by snapping a two-game skid. Jeff Keppinger added an RBI single in the sixth.
Hellickson (5-6), who had lost his previous six decisions covering a span of nine starts, allowed three hits, including a homer to Adam Jones in the fourth inning. The right-hander didn't walk a batter and had four strikeouts to post his first triumph since May 16 against Boston.
The Orioles, who had just three hits and have lost two in a row, continued their woes at the plate, especially in clutch opportunities. They went 0-for-4 with men in scoring position and are batting .144 (14-for-97) in such situations in their last 14 games.
Wei-Yin Chen (8-6) allowed four hits and three runs over 6 2/3 innings and has lost four of his last five decisions.
Fernando Rodney walked J.J. Hardy and Jim Thome with one out in the ninth, but Adam Jones and Matt Wieters both struck out. Rodney secured his 28th save and lowered his ERA to 0.81.
"It's tough. It's two in a row where our starters have gone out there and given us a good effort and a chance to win the game," Wieters said. "That's all we can ask of them."
Jones smacked a 445 foot homer to center field in the fourth, but the Rays went ahead in the following inning thanks to Conrad's second homer of the year. Sam Fuld, who was activated from the 60-day disabled list prior to the game, walked with one out. With two down, Conrad homered to left field.
"He's got that kind of power from both sides of the plate," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "I think it was a slide that he did hit out, happened to catch just right."
B.J. Upton walked to start the sixth, went to second on a balk and to third on a sacrifice bunt before scoring on Keppinger's bloop hit down the right field line.
Fuld had been on the DL all season after undergoing right wrist surgery on April 3...The Orioles signed 25-year-old Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia to a minor league contract...The Rays entered Tuesday having won only one of their last seven series...The Orioles have allowed three or fewer runs in seven straight games...After the game, the Rays acquired infielder Ryan Roberts from Arizona in exchange for minor league infielder Tyler Bortnick.