Tampa Bay at Baltimore

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Tampa Bay1300000015120
Baltimore «00110023x7110

Orioles use long ball to win seventh in a row

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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BALTIMORE -- Brian Roberts put the exclamation point on the Baltimore Orioles' remarkable April.

Roberts hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning and the Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 7-5 on Saturday for their seventh straight victory.

"When you've had six or seven losing seasons, you need something to build confidence early," Roberts said. "The way we've been playing, everybody seems to get big hits."

Miguel Tejada homered for the third consecutive game and had three RBI. B.J. Surhoff also hit a home run for the Orioles, whose winning streak is their longest since taking eight straight from Aug. 3-10, 2004.

An offensive surge from Tejada and Roberts helped Baltimore to 16 April wins. That matched the club record set in 1969, when the Orioles went to the World Series, and equaled in 1997, when they went wire-to-wire to win the AL East.

Roberts, who entered the season with 12 career homers, has eight this season. Tejada drove in 31 runs, breaking the franchise mark for April set by Mike Bordick in 2000.

"I don't have an answer anymore. I've run out of stupid one-liners," Roberts said when asked about his power numbers.

"I always said if (Roberts) hit eight to 10 for the year, that's more than you'd look for," Baltimore manager Lee Mazzilli said. "But his home runs, they've been big home runs."

Baltimore rallied from a 4-0 deficit to hand the Devil Rays their sixth straight loss, a season high. Tampa Bay fell to 1-9 on the road.

After Tejada's two-run shot off Travis Harper (0-1) tied the game at 4-all in the seventh, the Orioles got three in the eighth.

Luis Matos led off with a single and moved to second on Surhoff's sacrifice bunt. Rafael Palmeiro was intentionally walked and Geronimo Gil flied out to the warning track in right field.

Roberts then hit his high drive down the right-field line on a 1-0 pitch.

"This would have been a good win," Harper said. "But unfortunately I wasn't able to execute those things the way I would have liked to. That's what you have to do, you have to execute. I pitched behind in the count and up in the zone, and basically threw somewhat of a flat pitch to a hitter who's really hot with two guys on. And that's a recipe for disaster right there."

Todd Williams (3-0) got the win by getting the last out of the eighth inning. B.J. Ryan earned his fourth save, despite allowing a pinch homer by Jonny Gomes to lead off the ninth.

Tampa Bay took a 1-0 lead in the first on Aubrey Huff's RBI single, then expanded the lead to 4-0 with a three-run second against Sidney Ponson.

Travis Lee led off with a single and advanced to third on two groundouts before Charles Johnson drew a walk. Lee scored on Alex Sanchez's single and, after a wild pitch moved the runners up, Carl Crawford, mired in a 3-for-30 slump, slapped a two-run single off the glove of diving first baseman Chris Gomez.

Tejada's RBI single in the third cut the lead to 4-1 and Surhoff hit a 3-1 pitch from Mark Hendrickson over the wall in right field in the fourth for his second homer.

Hendrickson departed after five innings. He allowed two runs and six hits, walked two and struck out four.

Ponson went six-plus innings and gave up four runs and nine hits, walked three, struck out three, threw two wild pitches and hit a batter.

Notes

  • The Orioles are nine games over .500 for the first time since Aug. 22, 1998.
  • Johnson's first-inning walk snapped the Devil Rays' streak of 20 innings without a base on balls.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Brian Roberts gets a pat on the hat from Rafael Palmeiro after blasting a three-run homer.  (AP)
Brian Roberts gets a pat on the hat from Rafael Palmeiro after blasting a three-run homer. (AP)

Players of the Game
Baltimore

B. Roberts
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
Baltimore

M. Tejada
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 

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Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Carl Crawford, LF5022011 .262
Nick Green, 3B3120101 .343
Aubrey Huff, DH5021015 .271
Jorge Cantu, 2B5010012 .274
Travis Lee, 1B4130000 .288
Julio Lugo, SS4000002 .281
Chris Singleton, RF4000034 .258
Charles Johnson, C3100111 .235
Alex Sanchez, CF2111100 .282
   a- Jonny Gomes, PH1111000 .300
Totals3651253716 
a-homered for Sanchez in the 9th
Batting
2B - Carl Crawford (5, Ponson), Nick Green 2 (2, Ponson, Ryan)
HR - Jonny Gomes (2, Ryan)
RBI - Carl Crawford 2 (18), Aubrey Huff (15), Alex Sanchez (1), Jonny Gomes (5)
2-OUT RBI - Carl Crawford 2 (4), Alex Sanchez (1)
SB - Carl Crawford (6, 2nd base off Ponson/Gil)
Team LOB - 8
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Mark Hendrickson 5622241 4.00
Lance Carter (H,1) 1100000 6.92
Travis Harper (BS,1; L,0-1) 2455102 6.32
IBB - Palmeiro by Travis Harper
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Hendrickson 85-56, Lance Carter 17-12, Travis Harper 27-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Hendrickson 3-8, Travis Harper 2-4
Batters Faced - Mark Hendrickson 23, Lance Carter 4, Travis Harper 11
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B4113100 .379
Melvin Mora, 3B5120012 .316
Miguel Tejada, SS3123100 .347
Sammy Sosa, RF4010014 .281
Javy Lopez, DH4000003 .338
Luis Matos, CF4110011 .319
B.J. Surhoff, LF3111011 .206
Chris Gomez, 1B3130000 .545
    Rafael Palmeiro, 1B0100100 .247
Geronimo Gil, C4000004 .241
Totals3471173415 
Batting
2B - Melvin Mora (7, Hendrickson)
HR - Brian Roberts (8, Harper), Miguel Tejada (8, Harper), B.J. Surhoff (2, Hendrickson)
SH - B.J. Surhoff (1)
RBI - Brian Roberts 3 (26), Miguel Tejada 3 (31), B.J. Surhoff (3)
2-OUT RBI - Brian Roberts 3 (14), Miguel Tejada (10), B.J. Surhoff (1)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Sammy Sosa 1
DP - Mora-Gil-Gomez, Mora-Gomez
Baltimore Orioles
Sidney Ponson 6944330 6.67
Steve Kline 1.2100020 8.22
Todd Williams (W,3-0) 0.1000000 0.00
B.J. Ryan (S,4) 1211021 3.09
HBP - Green (by Sidney Ponson)
WP - Sidney Ponson 2 (4), Steve Kline (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Sidney Ponson 96-57, Steve Kline 16-11, Todd Williams 3-2, B.J. Ryan 28-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sidney Ponson 10-3, Steve Kline 2-0, Todd Williams 1-0, B.J. Ryan 1-0
Batters Faced - Sidney Ponson 29, Steve Kline 5, Todd Williams 1, B.J. Ryan 5
Game Information
Attendance - 19920
Game Time - 2:45
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Ed Rapuano, First Base - Jerry Crawford, Second Base - C.B. Bucknor, Third Base - Phil Cuzzi