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Palmeiro watches as Chen, Javy lead O's to sweep

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

BALTIMORE -- While Rafael Palmeiro got used to being back in a baseball uniform, Bruce Chen and the Baltimore Orioles made sure he enjoyed the view from the dugout.

Insider: Palmeiro arrives with no confession, little expression
by Scott Miller
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Chen pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, and Javy Lopez homered and scored twice to lead Baltimore past the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 4-2 Thursday night for a three-game sweep.

It was the Orioles' first series sweep since June 13-15, when they took three from Houston. Baltimore is 5-2 under interim manager Sam Perlozzo, who took over for Lee Mazzilli three days after Palmeiro received a 10-day suspension from Major League Baseball for using steroids.

Palmeiro received a warm reception from his teammates upon his return, but Perlozzo decided to keep the slugger on the bench because of the first baseman's inactivity during his suspension.

"I don't think he's done a whole lot so we'll take it a day at a time. He won't be in there today," Perlozzo said before the game. "We'll see what he looks like tomorrow. He might take a couple of days, I think."

Palmeiro spoke briefly to the media before batting practice, but insisted that he could not talk about his positive drug test for steroids because information about the case is being reviewed by Congress. He spoke again afterward, using the same ground rules.

Asked if he was disappointed to watch from the bench, Palmeiro replied, "I haven't done anything in 10 days so I'll need a couple days to get back into it."

Someone asked if he felt as though he was starting spring training again.

"I feel fine," he said. "Spring training is a totally different thing; your body gets sore from not doing baseball activities. I've played over 100 games this year, so it's not like I've been gone for three months."

Taking 10 days off was a strange experience for Palmeiro, who has played in at least 143 games in every year since 1994.

"I've never had 10 days off. I've played 20 years and I've never been on the (disabled list)," he said. "I've always played in every game, so this is new to me."

Thanks to Chen, Palmeiro wasn't needed. Chen (9-6) gave up a disputed home run to Eduardo Perez, but was in such command that the Devil Rays did not strand a single runner over the right-hander's seven innings of work.

"Seven innings in this heat against that ballclub, that's an outstanding job," Perlozzo said.

Chen struck out five and walked none. He threw only 77 pitches.

Todd Williams gave up one hit in the eighth and B.J. Ryan worked a perfect ninth to complete the four-hitter and earn his 25th save.

Tampa Bay finished without leaving a runner on base.

"We didn't have any left on? I didn't realize that," Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella said. "I know I didn't give many signs. A couple of these guys are scuffling a little bit. ... We didn't do much with the bats, we really didn't."

Baltimore got a run off Doug Waechter (4-8) in the second when Lopez hit a leadoff single, took second on a walk and scored on a single by David Newhan.

The Orioles made it 3-0 in the fourth. After Luis Matos hit an RBI single, Waechter committed a balk with runners at the corners and two outs.

A delayed home run call enabled Tampa Bay to close to 3-2 in the fifth. Aubrey Huff hit a one-out double before Perez hit a shot to the left-field wall that was initially ruled a double. But after Piniella argued, the umpires huddled together and decided that the ball made it to the seats on the fly.

Lopez hit his 10th homer leading off the sixth, his third hit of the game. It was the team-high 18th homer allowed by Waechter.


  • Tampa Bay has lost six of seven following a six-game winning streak.
  • To make room for Palmeiro on the 25-man roster, the Orioles designated OF Midre Cummings for assignment.
  • Eric Byrnes went 0-for-4, the first time in 12 games with Baltimore that he failed to get a hit.
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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Rafael Palmeiro insisted he didn't use steroids and then failed a drug test, giving fodder to fans.  (AP)
Rafael Palmeiro insisted he didn't use steroids and then failed a drug test, giving fodder to fans. (AP)

Players of the Game

J. Lopez
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
Tampa Bay

E. Perez
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 1

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Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Julio Lugo, SS4010000 .300
Carl Crawford, LF4000011 .293
Jorge Cantu, 3B3000021 .285
Damon Hollins, CF3000010 .269
Aubrey Huff, DH3110000 .263
Eduardo Perez, 1B2112000 .256
   a- Travis Lee, PH-1B1010000 .266
Jonny Gomes, RF3000001 .283
Toby Hall, C3000011 .287
Nick Green, 2B3000010 .247
a-singled for Perez in the 8th
2B - Aubrey Huff (18, Chen)
HR - Eduardo Perez (7, Chen)
RBI - Eduardo Perez 2 (20)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Doug Waechter (L,4-8) 6844131 5.32
Joe Borowski 1000020 3.09
Danys Baez 1100010 2.84
Pitches-Strikes - Doug Waechter 100-0, Joe Borowski 12-0, Danys Baez 15-0
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Doug Waechter 6-9, Joe Borowski 1-0
Batters Faced - Doug Waechter 27, Joe Borowski 3, Danys Baez 4
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B4000013 .320
Eric Byrnes, LF4000020 .258
Melvin Mora, 3B4010010 .288
Miguel Tejada, SS4000011 .319
Javy Lopez, C4231000 .279
    Sal Fasano, C0000000 .254
Jay Gibbons, DH3110101 .263
Alejandro Freire, 1B4120013 .250
David Newhan, RF3011003 .222
Luis Matos, CF3011003 .287
HR - Javy Lopez (10, Waechter)
RBI - Javy Lopez (30), David Newhan (17), Luis Matos (20)
2-OUT RBI - Luis Matos (7)
SB - David Newhan (7, 2nd base off Waechter/Hall)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Tejada-B. Roberts-Freire, B. Roberts-Tejada-Freire
Baltimore Orioles
Bruce Chen (W,9-6) 7322051 4.16
Todd Williams (H,8) 1100000 3.42
B.J. Ryan (S,25) 1000010 2.86
Pitches-Strikes - Bruce Chen 77-0, Todd Williams 5-0, B.J. Ryan 13-0
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bruce Chen 7-8, Todd Williams 2-0, B.J. Ryan 1-1
Batters Faced - Bruce Chen 23, Todd Williams 3, B.J. Ryan 3
Game Information
Attendance - 27958
Game Time - 2:12
Temperature - 92
Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Bruce Dreckman, Second Base - Bill Hohn, Third Base - Gerry Davis