Baltimore Orioles' J.J. Hardy singles in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, in Baltimore. Nelson Cruz scored on the play. Baltimore won 5-4. (Photo: AP)
BALTIMORE (AP) - J.J. Hardy singled in the tiebreaking run in the seventh inning, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 Thursday night to lengthen their lead in the AL East.
Steve Pearce homered for the Orioles, who took three of four from the sinking Rays. The victory, combined with the Yankees' loss to Detroit, put Baltimore seven games ahead of New York with 30 games remaining.
With the score 4-all in the seventh, Nelson Cruz doubled with two outs off Kirby Yates (0-2). After Chris Davis received an intentional walk, Hardy hit an opposite-field bloop to right that gave the Orioles their first lead.
Andrew Miller (4-5) pitched 1 2-3 hitless innings and Zach Britton worked a perfect ninth for his 29th save.
Evan Longoria homered and drove in two runs for the Rays, who lost their second road series in the last 11.