BALTIMORE (AP) — First, Seth Smith circled the bases on a single. Then, much later in a very strange game, he drove in the winning run without lifting the bat off his shoulder.
Smith drew a bases-loaded, four-pitch walk from Danny Farquhar to force in the deciding run with two outs in the 11th inning, and the Baltimore Orioles rallied to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 on Wednesday night.
The 4-hour, 8-minute contest featured a play more appropriate for the Little League — or the Big Top.
The wacky sequence began when Smith singled with Ryan Flaherty on first. After Kevin Kiermaier threw wildly to third base from center field, starting pitcher Alex Cobb retrieved the ball near the Tampa Bay dugout. Cobb’s errant throw to third hit Flaherty in the helmet and went into left field, allowing both runners to race home.
“I was trying to steal second and he put the ball in play and it turned into a circus,” Flaherty said.
Smith stopped at every base until a Tampa Bay miscue enabled him to move up an additional 90 feet.
“It was just a bad play,” Rays third baseman Evan Longoria said. “We had the one mistake play with Cobb that cost us the two runs.”
Manager Kevin Cash said: “That was a deflating inning. No doubt about it.”
Tim Beckham hit two solo homers for the Tampa Bay, but he also made one of the Rays’ three errors.
After Tampa Bay scored a run in the top of the 11th, the Orioles answered against closer Alex Colome (0-1). Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Jonathan Schoop, who hit a sacrifice fly. Flaherty walked to reload the bases, and Farquhar entered and threw four pitches — all outside the strike zone.
Colome hadn’t given up a run this season, but proved vulnerable in his second inning of work.
“I asked a lot of Alex. There’s no doubt about that,” Cash said. “I knew I was stretching him. But you want your best guy out there when the game’s on the line.”
Alec Asher (1-0) got the win for the Orioles despite giving up an RBI single to Jesus Sucre in the 11th.
Baltimore took two of three from Tampa Bay and has not lost a series this season.
“Being down in extra innings and coming back to win is always good for the morale and moving forward,” Smith said.
Dylan Bundy gave up two runs and four hits in 6 1/3 innings for Baltimore. He left with a 3-2 lead, but the bullpen gave it up.
Down 3-2 in the eighth, Tampa Bay used a double, a hit batter and a walk to load the bases with no outs. Darren O’Day entered and got a force out at the plate before an infield out by Brad Miller tied it.
Cobb allowed three runs, two earned, and eight hits in five innings. Though he pitched decently, his one poor throw in the field proved costly.
Beckham’s drive leading off the third ended Bundy’s run of consecutive scoreless innings at 15. It was the first home run allowed by Bundy in five starts.
Beckham connected again in the fifth to bring Tampa Bay within 3-2.
Rays: RHP Jake Odorizzi (hamstring) said he felt pain-free and “really fresh” while throwing 65 pitches during a four-inning simulated game. He is expected to come off the DL on Monday when the Rays visit the Marlins. … OFs Mallex Smith (hamstring) and Colby Rasmus (groin) are both rehabbing in the minors and “all the reports are very good,” Cash said.
Orioles: OF Joey Rickard (sprained finger) played both games of a doubleheader with Class A Delmarva as DH and will likely be activated from the 10-day disabled list Friday, manager Buck Showalter said. … Closer Zach Britton (forearm) is on the mend and could begin his rehab assignment with Class AA Bowie on Friday.
Rays: After taking Thursday off, Tampa Bay calls on LHP Blake Snell (0-2, 3.38 ERA) on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series in Toronto.
Orioles: Following a day off, Baltimore sends struggling RHP Kevin Gausman (1-2, 7.50 ERA) to the mound to face New York at Yankee Stadium.
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