Actually, it was a sloppy game by most.

The Orioles' defense, which leads the American League in errors, had another rough performance. The shoddy glove work was led by Reynolds, who technically did not make an error. But he misplayed a soft bouncer in the fifth — which led to a run — that was originally called an error. Later, it was changed to a hit.

It was the first of two bad plays that involved Reynolds, who has been switched to first base from third because of his defensive struggles at the hot corner.

Later in the fifth inning, Reynolds fielded a bunt and tried to go to third instead of getting the easy out at first. His throw bounced off the glove of Steve Tolleson, leading to another run. Tolleson was charged with that error.

Orioles starter Jason Hammel also turned in an uneven outing. He allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and three walks while striking out seven. But he threw 106 pitches and could only get through five innings.

“Obviously you want to get deeper into ballgames, but we still had a chance to win,” said Hammel, who said the right knee soreness that has plagued him the last month is improving.

Reliever Troy Patton lost the Orioles' lead in the sixth, allowing two runs in the first inning he pitched — and he was in line for the win before Saltalamacchia's blast. It was that kind of game.

Yet, somehow, it was also another win for the Orioles, who will take as many as they can get right now, no matter how difficult they may be.

“It was a huge team effort,” Hammel said. “Not everybody can be counted on [all the time]. Usually you want to count on your basic guys. But sometimes guys are going to make mistakes and it's all about the other guys coming in and picking each other up.

“We answered back twice after being ahead and giving up the lead. That's huge. And that's what we have to do. We're not going to try and overpower you, we are going to come out and play our game and claw and scratch and find a way to win.”