ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay bullpen came up big to help the Rays avoid a three-game sweep.
Five relievers allowed one run over 5 1/3 innings, Corey Dickerson had a go-ahead RBI double in the seventh inning and the Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-6 on Wednesday.
“Everybody did their part on that end,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
Brad Boxberger (3-0) pitched a scoreless seventh for the win and Alex Colome got three outs for his 31st save in 33 chances.
“Boxberger is a guy that’s been hurt some. He’s closed for them,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s capable, real good. The guy at the end (Colome) very quietly is one of the better closers in baseball. Just hasn’t had as many opportunities.”
Tampa Bay’s bullpen has a 3.16 ERA since the All-Star break, down from 4.79 in the first half.
Baltimore’s Dylan Bundy and Tampa Bay’s Drew Smyly each allowed five runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Kevin Kiermaier and Nick Franklin homered for the Rays, who are 4-11 this season against Baltimore.
Dickerson, in a 2 for 28 slide, tied the score 6-all with an RBI single in the fifth and got the decisive hit during the seventh off Mychal Givens (8-2).
Kiermaier hit a solo shot in the first and then pulled the Rays even at 5 with a two-run single in fourth. He has a career-best 11-game hitting streak.
“He sets the tone quite a bit,” Cash said. “The home run, obviously, but what KK does on the field really energizes our dugout. But the most impressive thing KK did in my opinion was the at-bat (in the fourth) where he went the other way to pick up two runs.”
J.J. Hardy drove in two on a second-inning double and Michael Bourn hit a solo homer during a three-run third that put Baltimore ahead 5-3.
Orioles: 1B Chris Davis (sore left hand) got the day off.
Rays: RHP Chase Whitley (Tommy John surgery) threw off a bullpen mound, which lines him up to make his first appearance this weekend.
Rays: New hitting coach Chad Mottola will join the team in New York for Thursday night’s game at Yankee Stadium. Derek Shelton was fired Tuesday.
Kiermaier is hitting .282 in 32 games since being moved into the second spot in the lineup. … 51 of Dickerson’s 97 hits have been for extra bases.
Rays: RHP Alex Cobb (0-0) makes his second start Thursday since returning from Tommy John surgery, facing the Yankees and LHP CC Sabathia (8-12). “They’re still in,” Cobbs said. “We’ve got a lot riding on this last month, seeing what we have going into next year.”