ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- On a night when rookie Mikie Mahtook tied a team record with five hits, the Rays won with five hits in the fifth inning, scoring six on the way to an 8-6 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night at Tropicana Field.
Baltimore (72-75) entered the night 4 1/2 games back of Houston for the second wild card, but did not lose any ground as the Astros were defeated by the Oakland Athletics.
The Orioles led 3-0 early on a three-run home run by shortstop J.J. Hardy. But the Rays (71-76) -- still alive at 6 1/2 games back entering the night -- got four doubles in the fifth, and held on despite two home runs from Baltimore outfielder Steve Pearce.
Mahtook went 5-for-5 for the Rays, matching a team record and becoming the first Rays rookie to get five hits in a game. But the biggest hit was a three-run double by left fielder Grady Sizemore to give the Rays a 5-3 lead in the fifth.
"Mikie Mahtook, what a day. That's awesome," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Five hits, I don't know if we've had a guy do that yet this year, so that's good to see."
The Rays would add three more runs in the inning, and needed the help as starter Drew Smyly gave up only four hits, but another was a two-run home run to Pearce in the sixth.
Rays relievers stepped in with 3 1/3 innings of relief, one night after reliever Alex Colome spoiled a gem by starter Matt Moore, when he gave up four runs in the eighth on the way to a 4-3 loss.
Brad Boxberger pitched the ninth for his 35th save, giving up a solo shot to Pearce along the way.
"We just didn't match up pitching-wise tonight. We made a lot of mistakes," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
The six-run fifth inning fell one run short of matching the Rays' biggest inning of the season, and the four extra-base hits matched the most in any inning. The eight total runs match their most since they scored 11 against the Orioles on Sept. 1.
The Rays got to Baltimore starter Tyler Wilson in the fifth, starting with a single by designated hitter John Jaso and a double by Mahtook.
Third baseman Evan Longoria was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out, and Sizemore hit a bases-clearing double to right-center to score three runs and take a 5-3 lead.
"Grady, after they walked Longo, was huge to separate the game like that," Cash said.
Reliever Chaz Roe gave up a walk, then a two-run double to right by first baseman James Loney, who then scored the inning's final run on a two-out double by second baseman Ryan Franklin, on a ball that dropped in shallow center, just out of reach of second baseman Jonathan Schoop.
Smyly was an out away from a quality start when he gave up a two-run home run to Pearce, his 12th of the season, cutting the Rays' lead to 8-5. He left after the home run, having thrown 107 pitches in 5 2/3 innings, allowing only four hits but five runs.
"We didn't do as much offensively as the runs look like, but you'd like to take advantage of six runs," Showalter said.
NOTES: The Rays signed former 1B Carlos Pena to an honorary contract Friday, allowing him to retire as a member of the team he played for from 2007-2010 and in 2012. "The Tampa Bay Rays will forever hold a very special place in my heart. It felt like home," said Pena, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Friday's game. ... The Rays named LHP Blake Snell their Minor League Pitcher of the Year and current 1B Richie Shaffer as their Minor League Player of the Year. Snell set a Rays minor-league record with a 1.41 ERA over 134 2/3 innings, the lowest for a full-season minor-leaguer since Detroit's Justin Verlander had a 1.29 ERA in 2005. ... Orioles 2B Jonathan Schoop extended his hitting streak to a career-best 10 games on Thursday night. He hit .341 with three homers in those 10 games. ... Rays OF Desmond Jennings is done for the season after the team announced he was having surgery related to a tooth infection. He missed much of this season with a lingering knee injury.