St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Adam Jones homered twice and the Baltimore Orioles took the middle test of a three-game set from the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-3, on Wednesday.
Jones got things started for the O's with a pair of solo home runs, and Jonathan Schoop provided the eventual game-winner with a two-run shot. Bud Norris yielded just two runs on three hits over 5 2/3 frames for Baltimore, winners in five of seven.
David DeJesus homered for Tampa, which has lost three of four and dropped the first two games here at Tropicana Field. The Rays will try to salvage a game in this set on Thursday with ace David Price set to toe the slab.
Jones led off the second inning with his first solo shot to straightaway center field. He made it 2-0 two innings later on a nearly identical blast, and all Desmond Jennings could do both times was watch the ball sail comfortably over the 404 foot sign in center.
"It felt good to get the ball out of the infield," jokes Jones, who hadn't homered since April 8. "It's a constant process. You have to keep swinging, you have to stay after it. Eventually I was going to do something."
DeJesus cut the deficit in half with his solo homer in the fifth.
Norris started the bottom of the sixth but Brian Matusz took his spot on the hill after Norris hit James Loney with a pitch and Wil Myers reached on an infield single, both with two outs. Sean Rodriguez, who was pinch-hitting for DeJesus, came through with an RBI single to center to tie the score at 2-2.
Ryan Webb (1-0) finished the sixth by inducing a Yunel Escobar groundout and tossed a scoreless seventh to earn the win.
The bottom of the order restored the lead for Baltimore in the top of the seventh. Reliever Brandon Gomes (2-2) retired the first two men he faced in the inning, but Steve Pearce kept it going with a single to center. Schoop then broke the game open with one swing of the bat, ripping an 0-2 fastball out over the wall in left.
"(Gomes) had so many different ways to go on that particular pitch and he put it in a bad spot," said Rays manager Joe Maddon. "I didn't like him a little bit, I liked him a lot in that moment, Gomes. It was unfortunate that he chose that pitch at that point, because otherwise I feel he could have gotten him out."
Tommy Hunter labored through the ninth inning, allowing three hits and a run before salvaging the game by robbing Jennings of a base-hit to earn his 10th save of the season.
Myers opened the final frame with a double, Escobar singled him to third and Ryan Hanigan made it 4-3 with an RBI single to right. With one away and runners on the corners, Hunter got Ben Zobrist to bloop to shortstop for the second out. Jennings then roped a liner back to the mound, and Hunter made a game-saving catch to send Baltimore to victory.
Tampa starter Cesar Ramos matched Norris' line, surrendering a pair of runs on three hits in 5 2/3 innings ... With Matt Wieters out with a sore elbow, Caleb Joseph made his major league debut for the O's behind the plate and finished 0-for-3 ... Nick Markakis extended his hitting streak to 14 games ... Both teams had seven hits.