St. Petersburg, FL – David DeJesus hit a solo home run as the Tampa Bay Rays took a 3-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles in the third of a four-game set.
Matt Joyce and James Loney each drove in a run for the Rays, who have taken the first three games of this series.
Enny Romero gave up a hit and four walks over 4 2/3 innings in his Major League debut. Jeremy Hellickson was scheduled to start the game, but pitched 2 1/3 innings in Friday's 18-inning game. Brandon Gomes (3-1) picked up the win after getting the final out of the fifth and first out of the sixth.
"The pitching has been outstanding," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We've gotten enough hitting. The defense has been great."
Tampa maintained its half-game lead over Cleveland for the top wild card spot in the American League. The Indians defeated the Astros earlier on Sunday.
Matt Wieters drove in the lone run of the game for the Orioles, who have dropped their past four to fall out of the playoff race as the team is now 4 1/2 games out.
"We can do it, we can do it," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of his club's chances of making it to October. "We're going to have to get a little cooperation mathematically, but you'd be surprised how quickly the outlook on things change in one day's time."
Scott Feldman (5-5) was tagged with the loss for giving up all three runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings.
DeJesus led off the first with his first home run with the Rays to give Tampa Bay a quick 1-0 lead.
The score stayed that way until the Rays gave themselves some breathing space in the sixth. Desmond Jennings led off with a bunt and moved to second on Ben Zobrist's walk. After a wild pitch, Joyce lofted a sac fly to left. Two batters later, Loney punched a single to left for a 3-0 lead.
Baltimore had just two runners reach second base in the first eight innings, but was able to keep from getting shut out as Wieters doubled home Danny Valencia, who had singled with two outs, in the ninth inning. Fernando Rodney struck out J.J. Hardy to end the game for his 36th save of the season.
Tampa has won 12 of the 18 games against Baltimore this season ... Wei-Yin Chen pitches for Baltimore on Monday while Chris Archer is scheduled to take the mound for Tampa Bay.