ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Baltimore Orioles had a string of eight straight quality starts broken on Tuesday night. That was the bad news.
The good news was that they scored their most runs since June 3 and won 7-5 over the Tampa Bay Rays before 10,803 at Tropicana Field.
In those eight quality starts, the Orioles (36-34) had only four wins.
The Orioles took a 5-0 lead off Erik Bedard (3-5) in the third. Jonathan Schoop scored on Bedard's wild pitch and with the bases loaded, Chris Davis hit a fly ball to the left field corner that was ruled in play. But after a review, it was upgraded to a grand slam. It was Davis' 12th home run of the season and third career grand slam.
"It was huge," Davis said. "Any time you're on the road, or any game to be honest with you, you try to get the lead early and put the pressure on them. We were able to do that. Obviously, they battled back but we continued to put runners on base and put runners across."
Miguel Gonzalez (4-4) returned from the disabled list and made it through five innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, walking two and striking out five.
"It was just about feeling out there and trying to make my pitches," Gonzalez said. "They fouled off a lot of pitches, but we got it done. Our offense was great."
Sean Rodriguez and Desmond Jennings hit back-to-back home runs in the third, and James Loney hit a two-run double in the fifth.
"I just missed up a little bit, middle of the plate," Gonzalez said. "Just got to execute those pitches better. Going out there 5-0 I never knew Sean would hit the first fastball. But just make better pitches next time."
Gonzalez left with a 5-4 lead.
"I thought his stuff was pretty crisp but the command of it wasn't what he was capable of. Hopefully it was a starting point and he can get back on the horse a little more consistently now," manager Buck Showalter said.
Steve Pearce hit a two-run home run, his fifth, in the seventh to build Baltimore's lead to 7-4.
Pearce is playing more regularly than he has in the past.
"It helps a lot. You start to get a feel," Pearce said. "The mound doesn't look as close. I've been to the plate pretty often. You try to develop a comfort zone and it's easier to play that way."
Ryan Webb relieved Gonzalez and retired the five batters he faced. Brian Matusz allowed a run in the eighth, and Tampa Bay (28-44) cut the lead to 7-5.
Zach Britton worked a perfect ninth for his eighth save.
WIETERS DOING WELL: Matt Wieters underwent Tommy John surgery on Tuesday afternoon in Gulf Breeze, Fla. Dr. James Andrews performed the procedure. Manager Buck Showalter said the procedure went well, and the Orioles hope to have Wieters back for the start of the 2015 season.
Showalter said that Wieters will begin his rehabilitation at his Atlanta home and he expects that he'll be with the team for some of the season.
"I know he wants to come back some," Showalter said.
STINSON GONE: With Gonzalez active, Baltimore designated right-handed pitcher Josh Stinson for assignment. Stinson has had two stints with the Orioles this season and has a 6.23 ERA in eight appearances.
BUNDY AN IRONBIRD: Dylan Bundy, who threw five innings for Short-Season Class-A Aberdeen on Sunday, will get at least two more starts for the IronBirds. Bundy, who had Tommy John surgery last June, allowed a run on five hits in his first outing since the procedure. Showalter said that the team has not decided on Bundy's destination after the three starts.
ODDS AND ENDS: Showalter said that he was planning on staying with six starters for the next 10 days. … The hearing on Manny Machado's suspension is not likely to occur until at least next week. … Rule 5 draft pick Michael Almanzar will begin a rehab assignment at Gulf Coast on Friday. The infielder hasn't played this season because of a left knee injury. … Clay Rapada, who pitched for the Orioles in 2011, was signed to a minor-league contract. He'll report to Class-AAA Norfolk.