BALTIMORE -- The rejuvenated Baltimore Orioles haven't abandoned the notion of doing something special this season.
Miguel Tejada drove in three runs for the Orioles, who improved to 4-2 under interim manager Sam Perlozzo. The four wins is twice as many as Baltimore had in its final 18 games under Lee Mazzilli, who was fired on Aug. 4.
"We are not out of anything. We need to go with that in a long-range plan, but we also know that can't be accomplished until we start stringing a few wins together and having some confidence," Perlozzo said. "If we can do that, then that long-range goal becomes clearer to us, and hopefully we can turn it around and put a real streak together."
The Orioles (55-58) still have plenty of ground to make up to get back into contention for a playoff berth, but at least they're in the running to end a run of seven straight losing seasons.
"We're trying hard," Gibbons said.
Rodrigo Lopez (11-6) came within one out of a complete game. He allowed nine hits, struck out three, walked two and improved to 4-1 in his last six starts.
"It's a victory. I'll take it," Lopez said. "Of course I'd like to go for my first complete game of the season, but we have to play as a team. It wasn't the right time."
By winning the first two games of the three-game set, Baltimore is assured of capturing only its second series since taking two of three from Colorado from June 17-19. The Orioles' last series win came July 7-10, against Boston.
"That doesn't surprise me because we weren't playing very well," Perlozzo said. "It is a step. Let's face it, as much as we've struggled, we have to take little steps until they add up to something. Right now, we're going about it the right way."
"Hopefully we will pitch better tomorrow," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said.
The Orioles took control in the first inning against Casey Fossum (6-9). Brian Roberts hit a leadoff single and Eric Byrnes walked before Tejada hit an RBI single. After Javy Lopez was walked intentionally to load the bases, Sammy Sosa fouled out.
Gibbons then hit a 1-1 pitch over the 25-foot scoreboard in right field. It was his 17th home run of the season and his first with the bases full since June 13, 2003, against Milwaukee.
"I think it was a slider," Gibbons said. "I think he left it a little bit over the plate. It was moving pretty good; I just kind of hooked it."
Melvin Mora made it 6-0 with an RBI single in the second.
Rodrigo Lopez retired his first 10 batters before running into trouble in the fourth. After Julio Lugo drew a one-out walk and Carl Crawford doubled, Jorge Cantu was retired on a fly ball. Rodrigo Lopez then went to 3-0 on Huff, who hit his 16th homer on the next pitch.
"We let him swing on 3-0, gave us a home run and got us back in it," Piniella said. "But in the fifth they got three and put it away."
Tejada hit a two-run double in the Baltimore fifth and Javy Lopez followed with an RBI single to chase Fossum, who came in 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA in four career games at Camden Yards.
Fossum allowed nine runs and seven hits in four-plus innings, his worst performance of the season.
"This is one of those outings I have to put behind me," he said. "It's kind of tough to give up five runs in the first inning. One swing of the bat was the whole difference in the game."
Fossum did, however, end a run of 10 straight starts in which he hit at least one batter with a pitch.
Gomes homered in the seventh to make it 9-4. His 14 homers is a Tampa Bay rookie record.
|Players of the Game|
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|Tampa Bay Devil Rays|
|Joey Gathright, CF||5||0||0||0||0||1||3||.272|
|Julio Lugo, SS||3||1||1||0||1||0||0||.301|
|Carl Crawford, LF||4||1||2||0||0||0||1||.295|
|Jorge Cantu, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||0||3||.287|
|Aubrey Huff, DH||4||1||1||3||0||0||1||.263|
|Jonny Gomes, RF||4||2||2||1||0||1||0||.288|
|Travis Lee, 1B||3||0||1||0||1||1||0||.263|
|Toby Hall, C||4||0||1||1||0||0||2||.289|
|Nick Green, 2B||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.250|
|2B - Carl Crawford (21, Lopez), Jorge Cantu (28, Lopez), Toby Hall (17, Lopez)|
|HR - Aubrey Huff (16, Lopez), Jonny Gomes (14, Lopez)|
|RBI - Aubrey Huff 3 (72), Jonny Gomes (28), Toby Hall (36)|
|2-OUT RBI - Aubrey Huff 3 (33), Toby Hall (15)|
|SB - Travis Lee (5, 2nd base off Lopez/Lopez)|
|CS - Travis Lee (4, 2nd base by Lopez/Lopez)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|E - Joey Gathright (2, Bobble)|
|Tampa Bay Devil Rays|
|Casey Fossum (L,6-9)||4||7||9||9||4||3||1||4.47|
|IBB - Lopez by Casey Fossum|
|HBP - Tejada (by Tim Corcoran)|
|WP - Tim Corcoran (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Casey Fossum 84-49, Tim Corcoran 37-27, Jesus Colome 19-13|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Casey Fossum 2-7, Tim Corcoran 1-3|
|Batters Faced - Casey Fossum 23, Tim Corcoran 10, Jesus Colome 5|
|Brian Roberts, 2B||5||1||1||0||0||1||3||.323|
|Eric Byrnes, LF||4||2||1||0||1||1||3||.261|
|Melvin Mora, 3B||3||1||1||1||1||2||2||.288|
|Miguel Tejada, SS||3||2||2||3||0||0||1||.322|
|Javy Lopez, C||3||1||1||1||1||1||1||.271|
|Sammy Sosa, DH||4||0||0||0||0||1||5||.232|
|Jay Gibbons, RF||4||1||2||4||0||0||1||.262|
|Alejandro Freire, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.125|
|Luis Matos, CF||3||1||0||0||1||1||2||.286|
|2B - Miguel Tejada (39, Fossum), Alejandro Freire (1, Colome)|
|HR - Jay Gibbons (17, Fossum)|
|RBI - Melvin Mora (53), Miguel Tejada 3 (75), Javy Lopez (29), Jay Gibbons 4 (53)|
|2-OUT RBI - Melvin Mora (29), Jay Gibbons 4 (15)|
|SB - Luis Matos (13, 2nd base off Fossum/Hall)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Tejada-B. Roberts-Freire|
|Rodrigo Lopez (W,11-6)||8.2||9||5||5||2||3||2||4.77|
|WP - Jorge Julio (6)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Rodrigo Lopez 109-74, Jorge Julio 9-4|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rodrigo Lopez 11-10|
|Batters Faced - Rodrigo Lopez 35, Jorge Julio 2|
|Attendance - 25556|
|Game Time - 2:37|
|Temperature - 84|
|Umpires - Home - Gerry Davis, First Base - Doug Eddings, Second Base - Bruce Dreckman, Third Base - Bill Hohn|