Kiermaier, Sucre go deep, but Rays fall to O's

Kiermaier, Sucre go deep, but Rays fall to O's

BALTIMORE -- J.J. Hardy hit a two-run home run in what was likely the last home game of his seven-year Orioles career, and rookie Chance Sisco added a two-run shot to lead the Baltimore Orioles to a 9-4 win over the Rays on Sunday.

With the loss, the Rays fell six games back in the American League Wild Card race with six games to play.

Mychal Givens (8-1) retired all five batters he faced for the win. Chris Tillman started in place of Dylan Bundy, who was a late scratch with a strained left hamstring. Tillman allowed four runs in four innings. Kevin Kiermaier hit Tillman's first pitch into the center-field bleachers for his 15th home run of the season, and his third leadoff knock.

The Orioles scored four runs in the first off Chris Archer, but Tampa Bay tied it in the second with three runs. Jesus Sucre's two-run home run made it 4-4. Archer (9-12) allowed six runs, five earned, in 3 2/3 innings.

Sucre's two-run homer

"Archer coming out of the gate, for whatever reason, looked like he couldn't find the command with his slider throughout the day," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "And, you know, [the Orioles] can hit. Really liked the way the guys came back ... [Sucre] with the big home run there. After that, we just couldn't get anything else going."

Orioles center fielder Adam Jones left the game with general leg soreness in the fourth inning.

Hardy goes out in style: Hardy made what was likely his final home game with the Orioles memorable by hitting a two-run home run in the fourth inning that gave the Orioles a 6-4 lead. Hardy, who missed nearly three months with a broken right wrist, hadn't homered since May 24. The crowd gave Hardy a standing ovation, and he stepped out of the dugout to acknowledge it with a wave of his helmet.

Hardy gets a standing ovation

Hardy was signed to a three-year contract extension in 2014 with an option for '18 that won't vest due to the wrist fracture.

Sisco makes a splash: Chance Sisco could be the Orioles' catcher of the future, and in his first start, he hit a two-run homer in the sixth that padded Baltimore's lead to 8-4. Sisco hit his first home run on Sept. 14 at Yankee Stadium.

Sisco's two-run homer

Archer unruffled, ready to finish season strong

"I don't think it surprises anybody. J.J. has delivered a lot of things the team has needed over the course of his time here." -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter, on Hardy's home run

"Pretty impressive today with J.J. Hardy. It's funny how baseball has a special way of appreciating really good players. I don't know J.J. at all, but just from everything you hear about him, that was pretty cool the way that all worked out. You appreciate it. He's been a pro from the other dugout for many, many years and it's just amazing how that kind of works out. I know he comes up and hits a home run, which wasn't good for us, but it's good to see good things happen to good players." -- Cash

Kiermaier was called safe on a grounder to first baseman Chris Davis to lead off the fifth inning, when Davis' flip to pitcher Donnie Hart appeared to reach the bag in time. The Orioles challenged the call, and it was overturned after a 57-second delay.

Kiermaier safe Orioles challenge

Rays: The Rays will travel to New York to start a three-game set against the Yankees at 7:05 p.m. ET Tuesday. Blake Snell, who matched his career high by tossing seven scoreless innings in Wednesday's win over the Cubs, will take the mound for Tampa Bay. Snell has thrown at least seven innings in three of his last six starts, compared to just once in the first 35 starts of his career.

Orioles: Kevin Gausman starts for the Orioles when they open a two-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates at 7:05 p.m. ET Tuesday at PNC Park. Gausman is 2-1 with a 1.71 ERA in his last five starts.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Rich Dubroff is a contributor to based in Baltimore who covered the Orioles on Sunday.

Mandy Bell is a reporter for based in Baltimore who covered the Rays on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.