Only the catwalk prevented a Rays' 16th shutout of the season, but this will do.
Tampa Bay got 4 2/3 innings from Enny Romero in making his big-league debut, and overall allowed just three hits to beat the Orioles 3-1 on Sunday afternoon. A crowd of 28,974 saw the next-to-last game of the regular season at the Trop,
The Rays needed the victory to stay atop the Wild Card standings as Cleveland beat Houston 9-2 and is still a half-game back.
David DeJesus got the ball rolling with a homer after a 10-pitch at-bat leading off the game. After that there was no breathing room until the sixth when Tampa Bay plated a pair to go up 3-0.
Desmond Jennings led off with a bunt single but was pulled with slight hamstring tightness. The move worked as pinch-runner Sam Fuld was going on ball four to Ben Zobrist, and as the ball skipped away it put runners on the corners. Matt Joyce hit a long fly ball on the next pitch which brought in Fuld for a 2-0 lead.
It became 3-0 on James Loney's single.
Jennings is day-to-day.
Romero came one out from qualifying form the win but was pulled after an error by Kelly Johnson with two outs. Brandon Gomes to get the third out and was credited with the victory.
Evan Longoria did not start due to flu-like symptoms but replaced Johson for defense in the eighth.
Fernando Rodney got the save with Baltimore's only run coming when Matt Wieters pop up with two outs struck a catwalk, making the score 3-1. But Rodney retired J.J. Hardy on a flyout to center field.
Jennings and Wil Myers had two hits apiece for the Rays. The teams finish up the series Monday. First pitch is 3:10.