BALTIMORE - The week of unusual feats continued at Oriole Park on Saturday night. The Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays combined for seven errors.
The good news was the Orioles made just two of them.
The Orioles managed to win 5-3 for the second straight night before 32,862 at Oriole Park.
As exciting as Friday night's game was, the second game of the three-game series was numbing. The horrid fielding had much to do with it.
The Orioles (22-12) now lead the Rays (20-14) by two games in the AL East, and are 8-4 in the crucial 15-game stretch against New York, Boston, Texas and Tampa Bay.
With Mark Reynolds lost for at least two weeks with a strained oblique muscle, manager Buck Showalter was forced to field a lineup with three starters who've been added in the last eight days.
"We knew stuff like this was going to happen over the course of a season," Showalter said. "It's about getting deep in the game with our starter and trying to catch the baseball and take advantage of the opportunities that we get. We were fortunate tonight that Tampa uncharacteristically helped us some defensively. We helped them a little bit."
Brian Matusz (2-4) managed a win, though he didn't make it through six innings.
Brandon Guyer homered to lead off the second off Matusz.
In the bottom of the second, the Orioles scored two runs on three Tampa Bay errors. Steve Tolleson doubled to score Adam Jones and Matt Wieters.
The Orioles took a 4-1 lead in the fifth on two more Rays errors. Jones' two-run single off Matt Moore (1-3) was the big hit.
In the top of the sixth, Luke Scott drove in two runs on a two-out single. The inning was prolonged on a wild throw by Tolleson at third.
Matusz left after 5 2-3innings, allowing three runs - one of them unearned on seven hits. He walked one and struck out five.
Luis Ayala struck Matt Joyce to end the sixth and finished the seventh. Pedro Strop pitched a perfect eighth, and Jim Johnson worked the ninth for his 11th save of the season. The bullpen has combined to retire all 19 Rays in the last two games.
"Handing the ball over to this pen-there's no better feeling," Matusz said. "Guys came out today and shut it down. They've been consistent all year. It's great to have a bullpen like that."
Bill Hall, whose contract was purchased from Norfolk before the game, homered to right in the bottom of the eighth to make it 5-3.
"It was a lot of fun to come into my first game and obviously be able to contribute," Hall said. "Insurance runs are always big late in ballgames when you have a lead. It takes a lot of pressure off the closer who is coming in the game, and a two-run lead is a lot better than one."
NOTES: Reynolds was placed on the 15-day disabled list before the game. He injured himself throwing during batting practice on Friday.
"I felt something in my side. They did a bunch of tests, and it's stiff and sore," Reynolds said. Hopefully in 15 days, I'll be back out there."
Reynolds is batting .191 with 2 home runs and 9 RBIs. He's struck out 37 times in 27 games.
While Reynolds is optimistic he'll be back quickly, Showalter isn't. Last year, J.J. Hardy missed a month with an oblique injury.
"We'll feel real good if he made the DL period," Showalter said. "Those things are usually lengthy."
Hall, who was signed to a minor league contract last month, had his contract purchased from Triple-A Norfolk and started in left field. He was 1-for-3. Hall was once a major league hotshot. In 2006, he hit 35 home runs and drove in 85 runs for the Milwaukee Brewers. He's also played for Seattle, Boston, Houston and San Francisco, but hadn't appeared in the big leagues since July 7, 2011.
Hall was let go by the Yankees in spring training, but didn't consider retirement.
"Never a thought. I'm 32 years old. I'm considered a veteran in the game. Thirty-two years old is not considered hold. Honestly, I feel like I have five good years inside of me. I still consider myself pretty young," Hall said.
The Orioles designated Brad Bergesen for assignment. Bergesen, who was a promising pitcher in 2009, but is 10-19 since then.
In the last eight days, the Orioles have made 20 roster moves and are expected to add outfielder Xavier Avery on Sunday and designate pitcher Dana Eveland for assignment.