Continuing to lurk just behind the leaders in the AL East, the Rays led 12-4 after six innings and had to hold off a furious Oriole rally as the O's put up six runs in the bottom of the eighth.
With Jeremy Hellickson - who still earned the win - blowing up and reliever Kyle Farnsworth unable to get anybody out (three hits, two earned runs), Joel Peralta came on to get the final out in the eighth and shut down the Orioles in order in the ninth.
Despite the theatrics, the Rays emerged a game above .500, 4 1/2 behind division leading New York. Kelly Johnson delivered for the Rays, socking a three-run homer in the third inning, singling home another in the fifth and doubling and scoring a run in the sixth.
Johnson was 3-for-5 with four RBI, with his sixth home run and 23 RBI.
The Rays and Orioles face off in the second game of the series at 4:05 pm EDT at Camden yards. In third place just 2 1/2 back, the O's lead the Rays by two games in the standings.
Paul Goldschmidt led Arizona's 9-2 win at Miami - the opener of a three-game series - with four hits in five at-bats, his third multi-hit game in his last four.
Goldschmidt blasted his 11th and 12th homers of the season in the first and third innings, both coming off Miami starter Kevin Slowey and both with a man aboard. Later, he singled and doubled, scoring both times, as the Diamondbacks padded their lead.
With his recent surge at the plate, Goldschmidt is challenging in the important statistical categories. His .338 batting average is fourth in the league; his 12 homers second-most and he's second in RBI with 35, one behind Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips.
Arizona and Miami meet again on Saturday at 7:10 pm EDT.
Today's Trivia: Which starting pitcher led the majors with 21 wins in 2012?
Yesterday's Answer: Hank Aaron was on 21 All Star rosters, one better than Willie Mays and Stan Musial.