ST. PETERSURG, Fla. (AP) Aaron Hicks homered and had four RBIs as the Baltimore Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-6 after nearly blowing a seven-run lead Tuesday night in a matchup of the top two teams in the AL East.
Anthony Santander and Ryan O'Hearn also went deep, and Kyle Bradish (3-3) gave up two runs and four hits over five innings for the Orioles, who moved within four games of the first-place Rays. Félix Bautista, the fifth Baltimore reliever, got four outs to earn his 20th save on his 28th birthday.
“I just think we've just got to keep playing good baseball,” Hicks said. “You can't really worry about the standings, what other teams are doing. You just have to go out and play hard, and get as many wins as you can.”
Francisco Mejía had an RBI double off Bradish during a two-run fifth before Manuel Margot drove in two with a pinch-hit single in a four-run sixth against three Baltimore relievers as the Rays got within 7-6.
Orioles second baseman Adam Frazier made a nifty running catch on Randy Arozarena's flare to center with two on to end the inning.
Rays manager Kevin Cash said off the bat he thought it would be a bloop hit.
Tampa Bay dropped to 31-8 at home, and has lost three straight overall. The Rays entered as the only team in the majors without a three-game skid this year.
Baltimore’s Austin Hays, who started the day leading the AL in batting, went 3 for 4 and raised his average from .320 to .327. He has a career-high streak of five multiple-hit games.
Gunnar Henderson, who missed Sunday's game at the Chicago Cubs with the flu, doubled on Tyler Glasnow's first pitch and scored on Santander's single. Hicks made it 4-0 with his three-run drive.
Hicks gave Baltimore an 8-6 advantage on his RBI single in the eighth off Robert Stephenson.
Hicks, released by the New York Yankees on May 26 and signed by Baltimore four days later, has three homers and seven extra-base hits in 17 games with the Orioles. The outfielder had one homer and three extra-base hits over 28 games with the Yankees.
“It's been awesome,” Hicks said. “The team has really welcomed me since I got here, and been able to have opportunities pretty much from day one to play every single day. It's been fun.”
Hicks is hitting .340 with the Orioles, compared to .188 with the Yankees.
The Orioles took a 6-0 lead on Santander's two-run shot in the second. O’Hearn hit a solo homer off reliever Shawn Armstrong in the fifth.
Glasnow (2-1), making his fifth start after beginning the season on the injured list with a strained left oblique, allowed six runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings. He entered 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA in six starts against the Orioles.
“He was a little out of sorts,” Cash said. “We'll bet he's going to bounce right back.”
Arozarena, expected to be an AL All-Star this year, would like to participate in the Home Run Derby.
“I would love to go out there and put on a show in the derby,” Arozarena said through a translator. "Hopefully they invite me."
When Arozarena struck out against Bradish in the third, he lost his grip on the bat, which ended up near shortstop.
Orioles: OF Cedric Mullins (groin) and INF Ryan Mountcastle (vertigo) were set to start rehab assignments with Triple-A Norfolk, but the game was postponed by rain.
Rays: 2B Brandon Lowe (herniated disc) has resumed on-field baseball drills. ... CF Jose Siri got an injection Monday for his ailing right shoulder and might return to the lineup Wednesday.
Baltimore RHP Tyler Wells (6-2) and Rays RHP Taj Bradley (4-3) are Wednesday's starters.
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