BALTIMORE — It was all there for the Baltimore Orioles: a chance to get back to .500, climb out of last place in the AL East and match their longest winning streak of the season.
Unfortunately for the Orioles, Tampa Bay wouldn't comply. The Rays rallied from a one-run deficit in the seventh and ninth innings, then scored twice in the 11th to pull out a 7-5 victory Saturday night.
"We couldn't quite finish the deal," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said.
Mark Reynolds homered twice and drove in the three runs for the Orioles, whose four-game winning streak ended. Baltimore would have passed Toronto with a victory, but instead remains in last place in the tightly packed AL East.
"We had our chances. That's what we are trying to do," said starter Jeremy Guthrie, who left with a 4-3 lead. "We have been so good closing out games recently that it's tough. We're not going to always have everything go well for us and perfect. And tonight we let them back in the game."
Baltimore took a 5-4 lead in the eighth when Joel Peralta forced in a run by walking rookie Brandon Snyder with the bases loaded and two outs.
But Tampa Bay tied it in the ninth against Kevin Gregg, who has four blown saves. After Ben Zobrist hit a one-out triple and Matt Joyce walked, Evan Longoria popped out. But Casey Kotchman followed with an RBI single up the middle.
Zobrist had three doubles and a triple. He started the 11th with a double off Jeremy Accardo (3-2) and took third on a groundout. After Longoria hit a soft liner to center, Kotchman followed with an RBI double.
Juan Cruz (4-0) got two outs in the 10th and Kyle Farnsworth worked the 11th for his 14th save.
"We definitely missed out on a lot of chances," Reynolds said. "We should have probably won the game. It's a tough loss. It will test the character of the club."
Longoria had three RBIs, Kotchman had four hits and Johnny Damon got two hits and scored twice for the Rays. He has reached base in 36 consecutive games, a career high and one short of Ben Grieve's club record. His fifth-inning double lifted him into a tie for 54th place on the career list with Al Kaline and Bill Buckner.
Rays starter David Price gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings, striking out six and walking one. He lost a three-run lead and yielded both of Reynolds' homers.
Guthrie allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings. He has only one win in his last 12 starts despite owning a respectable 3.77 ERA for the season.
"We were battling a good club there," Showalter said. "Down 3-0, worked our way back. Jeremy kept it close. Had a chance to beat Price."
Reynolds' second home run, a drive to center with a man on, put Baltimore up 4-3 in the sixth. He has six homers in his last 11 games.
"He's starting to swing the bat like we thought that he had the potential to," Showalter said. "He's going to have his periods, but he's not missing many mistakes right now."
But the Rays pulled even with an unearned run in the seventh against Jim Johnson. Zobrist led off with a double and was at second with two outs when Kotchman hit a bouncer up the middle. Second baseman Robert Andino caught up to the ball, but his throw to first was wild, enabling Zobrist to score.
In the Baltimore half, J.J. Hardy greeted J.P. Howell with a drive to left that a leaping Justin Ruggiano caught at the wall.
That began a perfect inning for the struggling Howell, who came in with a 15.75 ERA.
"I have nothing but praise for our guys," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "That game kept dragging out; I knew it was going to pull us down. But nevertheless they kept coming after them, coming after them."Comment on this story
Tampa Bay got a first-inning run when Damon singled and scored on a two-out double by Longoria.
It became 3-0 in the fifth when Damon and Zobrist hit successive doubles and Longoria added an RBI single.
Reynolds led off the bottom half with a drive over the wall in right-center and Adam Jones added a run-scoring double with two outs to bring Baltimore to 3-2.
NOTES: After the game, the Rays activated infielder Elliott Johnson (left knee sprain) from the disabled list and designated infielder Felipe Lopez for assignment. ... Baltimore has been outscored 29-14 in the first inning. ... It was the 10th multihomer game of Reynolds' career. He leads the Orioles with 12 homers for the season.