ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Six months ago, the Baltimore Orioles closed the regular season here and went on to an exciting week of playoffs.
On Tuesday, they opened the 2013 season with a win that could give them legitimate hope that his year will be even better than last.
After facing a not-quite-at-his-best David Price, the Orioles exploded for five runs against Jake McGee in the seventh inning and won 7-4 before 34,078 at Tropicana Field.
The big hits in the seventh were a two-run, two-out double by Adam Jones and a three-run home run by Chris Davis.
"We put ourselves in a lot of opportunities. We just didn't get the hit. We look at the bright side. We're getting all these opportunities, we're going to get a hit eventually," Jones said.
Baltimore (1-0) took a quick 2-0 lead off Price when Matt Wieters hit a first-inning home run after Jones doubled.
They failed to add on, and Jason Hammel (1-0), who admittedly was not at his best, left trailing 3-2.
Tampa Bay (0-1) scored on a run in the fourth on Ben Zobrist's home run and two in the sixth.
Hammel got away with some mistakes, but his teammates got away with some, too. Twice they had leadoff doubles, and didn't advance the runners.
"We were facing a guy who was pretty good. I think we made him work today. We saw a lot of pitches," Davis said. "I think that helped us later in the game to see as many pitches as we did."
Before Jones' double on an 0-2 pitch in the seventh, they were just 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
Price allowed two runs on seven hits. Hammel gave up three runs on three hits.
"I was pretty bad today," Hammel said. "I can't take too much credit."
This was one of three Opening Days for the Orioles. The home opener is Friday against Minnesota, and next Monday, they'll help Boston open their season.
"It felt amazing. It felt like a playoff game to me," Hammel said.
Baltimore had 13 hits. Jones was 3-for-5 with two doubles. Wieters, Nolan Reimold and Brian Roberts each had two hits.
For Roberts, who batted ninth for the first time since July 31, 2004, it was a happy return to the lineup.
"It was fun. Not that you forget how fun baseball was, but when you are out for such a long period of time sometimes you forget what the atmosphere and the energy is like and just the joy of playing the game," Roberts said.
Wieters had a grueling day. Besides his first-inning home run, he had the longest at-bat of his career, a 13-pitch walk in the second inning. He doubled in the sixth, and the intentional walk he drew set up Davis' long home run.
"I'm pretty sure they looked at who was on deck when they did it, so you can't blame them for playing the matchups right there. McGee's got a great arm. He throws hard. I was able to get him early obviously. I think after throwing four balls right there I thought that he was going to try to get ahead with a strike and I just tried to get the barrel to it and he supplied the rest. He's a power guy who throws hard, he's got good stuff. You have to get to him early," Davis said.
After Hammel left, Troy Patton, Darren O'Day and Jim Johnson combined to allow just an unearned run. Johnson recorded his first save.
"The season wouldn't have ended if we lost today, and it won't end if we lose [Wednesday] or if we win," manager Buck Showalter said.
NOTES: Jones has had three-hit games in three of his six Opening Day games for Baltimore. ... Hammel earned his first win at Tropicana Field. ... The Orioles are 38-22 in season openers.