ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Brian Matusz gave the sliding Baltimore Orioles a huge lift.
Matusz gave up two hits in 7 1-3 innings and the Orioles ended a six-game losing streak by holding off the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 Saturday.
"Every time I step on the mound, I want to go out there and compete and bring my best game, but to end a losing streak is definitely a good feeling," Matusz said. "It's nice to go out there and get back on the winning side of things."
Matusz (5-5) didn't give up a hit until the fifth inning. He struck out seven and walked three.
"I just attacked the zone and got ahead, and the Rays were swinging the bat so I got a lot of outs early in the count," Matusz said. "When you have a good rhythm and good flow, it's nice to just go out there and pound the strike zone with confidence."
Reliever Pedro Strop got Ben Zobrist to ground into a bases-loaded double play in the eighth. Jim Johnson pitched the ninth for his 17th save, completing the combined two-hitter.
"You know you've got a really good one when they can close a one-run game out on the road against the American League East, and Jimmy's done that for us this year," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
Baltimore broke a 1-all tie in the seventh. Mark Reynolds , who had doubled, scored with two outs when third baseman Drew Sutton made a wild throw to first on Robert Andino 's grounder. Zobrist tracked down Sutton's bad throw in right field and threw out Ryan Flaherty , who also tried to score on the play.
"I rushed it," Sutton said. "I didn't know how much time I had. I just kind of spiked it. It didn't work out."
Endy Chavez , mired in a 3-for-35 slide, put the Orioles ahead 1-0 in the third with a home run off Jeremy Hellickson (4-2). It was Chavez's first homer since last Aug. 9 against Seattle.
"Both pitchers pitched great," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said.
Elliot Johnson reached with one out in the Rays eighth when Reynolds misplayed a grounder for an error. After Matusz walked Carlos Pena , Strop relieved.
Strop's wild pitch moved up the runners and B.J. Upton walked to load the bases. But Strop worked out of the jam by getting a double-play grounder from Zobrist.
"Unfortunately Zoe hits the ball right at the second baseman," Maddon said.
Hellickson gave up four hits in 6 2-3 innings. The right-hander struck out eight and walked one.
"Threw a lot of strikes," Hellickson said. "Didn't get deep into counts."
Sean Rodriguez got the Rays' first hit, a double to start the fifth. He later scored the tying run on Sutton's grounder.
Zobrist also made a couple nice catches, including a diving effort to take away a leadoff hit from Flaherty in the fifth.
NOTES: Matusz is 5-2 in eight overall starts against Tampa Bay. ... Hellickson has allowed two earned runs or less in eight of 11 starts this season. ... Baltimore acquired OF-1B Steve Pearce from the New York Yankees for cash and designated INF-OF Bill Hall for assignment. ... Maddon said RF Matt Joyce was out of the lineup because he is under the weather. ...Orioles LHP Tsuyoshi Wada , who underwent elbow ligament replacement surgery on May 11, is set to start shoulder exercises.