Elliot Johnson and Ben Zobrist homered, Carlos Pena ended an extended slump with two doubles and two RBIs, and the Tampa Bay Rays held on to beat the Baltimore Orioles 9-8 Sunday and avert a three-game sweep.
James Shields earned his sixth win for the Rays, who snapped a three-game skid and won for only the second time in eight games. Tampa Bay entered the series tied atop the AL East with Baltimore.
This victory was anything but easy. The Rays led 7-1 in the fourth inning and 9-6 in the eighth, but it was 9-8 when Fernando Rodney got Matt Wieters to ground out in the ninth with runners on second and third with two outs.
Rodney got his 10th save in 10 tries in a game that earlier appeared was going to be blowout.
Zobrist had three RBIs and Johnson scored three runs and drove in two. Pena was 3 for 37 with 14 strikeouts in May before hitting a third-inning double and adding a two-run double in the fourth to make it 7-1.
After Baltimore closed to 7-6 in the seventh, Johnson and Z...