But after a dominant performance by the Rays' David Price, who gave up no runs on four hits and two walks in 7 1/3 innings, Tampa Bay pulled out a 5-0 win to take over first place in the tight American League East.
It was the first time in six games the Rays scored five or more runs after scoring a combined 12 in the previous five games, providing much-needed momentum heading into the second game of the weekend series.
Baltimore, meanwhile, lost its sixth straight and will look to Brian Matusz to snap the skid. The Orioles' starting pitching has been particularly shaky, with an 8.06 ERA in their last five starts.
"We're going to have to start doing some things we did to get to this point to be competitive," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We've just got to get out a little bit better with our start, pitching-wise."
If there's a pitcher the Orioles want to send to the mound right now, it's probably the young southpaw Matusz. In his last seven starts, he's given up three runs or fewer six times. The Rays have struggled with lefties this season to the tune of a 8-10 record compared with the 22-12 mark they have against right-handed starters.
Despite the recent string of losses for the Orioles, Showalter feels his young team can turn it around.
"They have a lot of confidence," Showalter said. "They're a mature group, they'll get it going again. Hopefully [on Saturday]."
Orioles: Hall gets second stint with club
Outfielder Bill Hall's contract was purchased from Triple-A Norfolk on Friday after the team announced that right fielder Nick Markakis was placed on the 15-day disabled list after undergoing surgery on his right wrist.
Markakis, who was hitting .256 with eight home runs and 26 RBIs, is expected to miss two to four weeks.
Hall appeared in six games from May 12-25, hitting .286 with a homer. He went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts and a walk on Friday.
Rays: Hellickson looks to continue dominance at home
Jeremy Hellickson has had great luck against the Orioles in the past, with a 2.51 ERA against them in his career. At home he's been even better, with a 3-0 and 0.75 ERA, but he isn't taking this year's club lightly.
"We have to try to go out there, get ahead, and ... get early outs. They're a pretty aggressive team, for the most part," Hellickson said. "They've had a pretty good offense the last three years, they're just putting together the rest of the pieces now."
Hellickson is 4-1 in 10 starts this season, with a 2.83 ERA.
The season series between the two teams is tied, 2-2.
Orioles center fielder Adam Jones has hit safely in 21 of his last 22 games. His 20-game hitting streak was snapped on Wednesday.
Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters went 2-for-4 on Friday's game. It was the first time since May 15 he had two or more hits.
Left fielder Hideki Matsui has homered in his first two starts for the Rays.
Price has gone seven or more innings in seven of his last eight starts.