Baltimore at Tampa Bay

Baltimore «1012100207102
Tampa Bay3002000106101

Orioles 7, Devil Rays 6

CBS wire reports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- A week without a home run raised questions Sammy Sosa knew he'd eventually answer with his bat.

The seven-time All-Star homered for the first time with his new team Tuesday night, hitting the 575th of his career in the Baltimore Orioles' 7-6 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

"It's only seven games into the season. A lot of people have been asking so many questions," Sosa said.

"You have to remember, not every time I go up I'm going to hit a home run. My game plan is to go up there and do the best that I can. I know myself. I'm going to do that. Right now, we're playing good baseball. I'm more happy that we won than (with) the home run I hit."

Sosa's solo shot off Scott Kazmir in the third inning was greeted by polite applause from a small crowd of 10,563, which included hundreds who arrived early to watch the former Chicago Cubs star take batting practice for the first time at Tropicana Field.

After narrowly missing down the right field line in his first at-bat, Sosa delivered his first American League homer since Sept. 8, 1991, on a 2-2 pitch from Kazmir, the 347th pitcher to surrender a home run to the 36-year-old slugger.

"I got ahead of him with a couple of fastballs, and then I tried to get the slider in the dirt. It didn't quite get there," Kazmir said. "It stayed kind of knee high, inside corner. It's a good spot for most righties. He didn't miss it."

Sosa, who has homered in 41 different major-league parks, had last connected in the AL off Kevin Brown, while playing for the Chicago White Sox at Texas. It was the 29th of his career, and the last he hit before moving to the Cubs in 1992.

The one-time NL MVP entered the game hitting just .200 (5-for-25) in six games. In addition to his 406-foot homer to left field, Sosa tripled and scored a run in the fifth before finishing 2-for-4.

"It kind of gets the monkey off your back," Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said. "You knew it was going to happen. Just a matter of when."

Brian Roberts also homered. The two-run shot off Kazmir put Baltimore ahead 4-3 in the fourth inning and gave the Orioles' leadoff man four in his first 28 at-bats. He had four in 641 at-bats all of last year.

Larry Bigbie's eighth-inning RBI single off Casey Fossum (0-1) broke a 5-all tie. The Orioles added another run, making it 7-5, when Roberts grounded into a force play.

B.J. Ryan got four outs for Baltimore, earning his first save after giving up a triple and walk to begin the ninth. The left-hander struck out Travis Lee and Jorge Cantu before retiring pinch-hitter Eduardo Perez on a routine fly to left to end the game.

"You just have to put the ball in play, especially with no outs," Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella said. "You do, and you get a chance to play on."

Todd Williams (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings in relief.

Julio Lugo, Josh Phelps and Joey Gathright had RBI singles in the first inning for Tampa Bay.

The Devil Rays also scored twice off Baltimore starter Daniel Cabrera in the fourth when Carl Crawford's long flyball with the bases loaded glanced off Luis Matos' glove for an error as the Orioles center fielder crossed in front of Sosa, who was positioned to make the catch in deep right-center.

Two runs scored on the play, giving the Devil Rays a short-lived 5-4 lead.

Sosa opened the Baltimore fifth with a triple that bounced over Gathright's head in center field and rolled to the wall. He trotted home, making it 5-5, on Javy Lopez's sacrifice fly.

Kazmir allowed five runs -- four earned -- in five innings. The 21-year-old left-hander walked three and struck out two.

Cabrera also gave up five runs -- four earned -- in five innings. He walked three and struck out five.


The Devil Rays pulled to 7-6 on Alex Gonzalez's RBI single off Jorge Julio in the eighth. ... Sosa's 44th career triple was his first since April 16, 2002, for the Cubs at Montreal. ... Rafael Palmeiro singled for his 2,929th hit, moving within one of Rogers Hornsby for 31st on baseball's all-time list. ... Devil Rays OF Alex Sanchez, serving a 10-day suspension for violating baseball's new policy on performance-enhancing drugs, worked out with teammates before the game. He's eligible to be activated on Thursday.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

J. Gathright
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0

B. Roberts
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1

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Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B4223102 .414
Melvin Mora, 3B3020110 .172
Miguel Tejada, SS4001016 .321
Sammy Sosa, RF4221110 .241
Rafael Palmeiro, DH5010001 .292
Javy Lopez, C4001002 .259
Jay Gibbons, 1B3110100 .250
Luis Matos, CF3110100 .350
Larry Bigbie, LF4111010 .211
3B - Sammy Sosa (1, Kazmir)
HR - Brian Roberts (4, Kazmir), Sammy Sosa (1, Kazmir)
SF - Miguel Tejada (1), Javy Lopez (2)
SH - Melvin Mora (2)
RBI - Brian Roberts 3 (9), Miguel Tejada (6), Sammy Sosa (1), Javy Lopez (5), Larry Bigbie (2)
SB - Brian Roberts 2 (2, 3rd base off Kazmir/Hall, 3rd base off McClung/Hall)
Team LOB - 8
E - Javy Lopez (1, Wild throw), Luis Matos (2, Dropped fly)
Baltimore Orioles
Daniel Cabrera 5754350 9.72
Todd Williams (W,1-0) 2000020 0.00
Jorge Julio (H,1) 0.2211000 2.45
B.J. Ryan (S,1) 1.1100230 4.15
IBB - Huff by Daniel Cabrera
HBP - Lugo (by Todd Williams)
Pitches-Strikes - Daniel Cabrera 98-57, Todd Williams 26-14, Jorge Julio 17-10, B.J. Ryan 25-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daniel Cabrera 6-4, Todd Williams 1-3, Jorge Julio 1-1
Batters Faced - Daniel Cabrera 25, Todd Williams 7, Jorge Julio 4, B.J. Ryan 7
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Carl Crawford, LF3111101 .259
Julio Lugo, SS4111015 .269
Aubrey Huff, RF4010111 .320
Josh Phelps, DH4111124 .348
    Nick Green, PR-DH0000000 .111
Travis Lee, 1B4000123 .227
Jorge Cantu, 2B5110022 .357
Joey Gathright, CF4231000 .438
   a- Eduardo Perez, PH1000002 .286
Toby Hall, C4000015 .217
Alex Gonzalez, 3B3021110 .211
a-flied out for Gathright in the 9th
2B - Carl Crawford (1, Cabrera)
3B - Aubrey Huff (1, Ryan)
SF - Carl Crawford (2)
RBI - Carl Crawford (6), Julio Lugo (3), Josh Phelps (6), Joey Gathright (1), Alex Gonzalez (2)
2-OUT RBI - Joey Gathright (1), Alex Gonzalez (2)
SB - Julio Lugo (4, 3rd base off Cabrera/Lopez), Joey Gathright (3, 2nd base off Julio/Lopez)
CS - Travis Lee (1, Home by Cabrera/Lopez)
Team LOB - 10
DP - Lugo-Cantu-Lee
E - Julio Lugo (3, Misplayed grounder)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Scott Kazmir 5654322 4.50
Seth McClung 2100120 13.50
Casey Fossum (L,0-1) 0.1322100 4.50
Jesus Colome 1000000 3.86
Trever Miller 0.2000000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 100-60, Seth McClung 35-18, Casey Fossum 14-7, Jesus Colome 2-2, Trever Miller 5-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 4-10, Seth McClung 1-3, Casey Fossum 1-0, Jesus Colome 1-1, Trever Miller 1-1
Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 25, Seth McClung 8, Casey Fossum 5, Jesus Colome 2, Trever Miller 2
Game Information
Attendance - 10563
Game Time - 3:15
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Paul Emmel, Second Base - Tony Randazzo, Third Base - Ed Montague