After an opening five weeks to the season that included rain delays, irregular start times and early-morning flights, the Orioles were looking forward to playing three night games with no risk of weather delays under the roof of Tropicana Field.

They didn't account for a 19-minute eighth-inning delay when a set of lights went out along a catwalk connected to the dome's roof Tuesday night.

But when play resumed — the row of lights still out — the Orioles were finally sparked by a big hit they had lacked all night.

Second baseman Ryan Flaherty, making just his second start in 10 days, drove in the winning run with a single in a two-run eighth inning, giving the Orioles a 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in front of an announced 11,855.

“I saw it happen in the Super Bowl, but that was the only experience I’ve had watching lights go out,” Flaherty said. “I saw a couple of their guys sitting in the outfield. Looney Tunes was on the scoreboard. It was kind of a bizarre moment.”

With the win, the Orioles (16-14) kept at least a share of first place in the American League East.

Flaherty's single came after the Orioles were just 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Nick Markakis followed by beating out a potential double-play ball that scored an insurance run.

“It was nice to get up there in that situation and help the team win,” Flaherty said. “Any time you get up there with less than two outs and a guy on third base, you try to get him in.”

Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman recorded just the team's 10th quality start in 30 games this season, yielding three runs and five hits over six innings plus two batters.

Tillman's start was his deepest in nearly four weeks. He had allowed 13 earned runs over 15 1/3 innings over his previous three starts.
“He looked like a guy who hadn't been sitting around for six days,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “He was a lot crisper and sharper.”