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Rough start doesn't keep O's Bedard from extending streak

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Erik Bedard finds it easier to pitch with a big lead. Then again, he's been making it look pretty easy regardless.

Bedard overcame a slow start to win his career-best eighth consecutive decision, and the Orioles pounded the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 11-3 on Sunday.

Miguel Tejada, Aubrey Huff and Melvin Mora homered for the Orioles, who are 14-8 since the All-Star break. Baltimore is 10-2 against Tampa Bay this season.

"It's easier when you have run support," Bedard said. "You put 10 runs on the board, it makes it a little easier to pitch. There's a big difference there between three and 10."

Carl Crawford and B.J. Upton homered for the Devil Rays, who are 9-28 since June 25. Tampa Bay has allowed 10 or more runs in 20 games this season.

Bedard (12-4) is 8-0 in his last 10 starts since losing to Colorado on June 10. The AL pitcher of the month for July, Bedard allowed three runs in the first three innings but didn't allow another one until leaving with two outs in the seventh.

Bedard has struck out 10 or more six times this year.

"It's a battle every time I pitch against them," Bedard said. "I was throwing good pitches for strikes and they were hitting them."

Bedard scattered nine hits and struck out 11, extending his major league-leading total to 192 this season.

"Even at his worse he's pretty dominant," Huff said. "Today he didn't even have his good fastball, and he was still throwing right by guys."

Tejada hit a solo homer and Nick Markakis had a two-run single during a six-run fourth off Andy Sonnanstine (1-7) as the Orioles took a 7-3 lead. Brian Roberts added an RBI single and Corey Patterson drove in a run with a double.

Sonnanstine has lost seven consecutive decisions over a 10-start span. He gave up seven runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Huff's homer and a two-run single by Patterson off Casey Fossum extended the Orioles' advantage to 10-3 in the fifth. Mora homered in the ninth.

Crawford, Tampa Bay's lone All-Star this year, celebrated his 26th birthday by putting the Devil Rays ahead 1-0 on a first-inning homer. Baltimore tied it at 1-all one inning later on Jay Payton's RBI grounder.

"Everything but the win," said Crawford, when went 4-for-5. "You can't give a guy like him (Bedard) seven runs to work with and expect to win. We just fell too far behind. You've got a guy like that, it's always going to be tough. I'm pretty sure he brought his good stuff out when he recognized he had a big lead like that."

Crawford singled in third and scored on Upton's homer that made it 3-1. Upton has six homers and 18 RBI in 22 games since returning from a strained left quadriceps on July 13.

"We got off to a wonderful start today," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "It's too bad Andy didn't have one of his better days, because we really thought we had a pretty good chance. We came out with a lot of energy, and then the six-run inning kind of deflated us."

The Devil Rays loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, but failed to score when Orioles reliever Chad Bradford struck out Carlos Pena.

Notes

  • The Orioles reinstated Mora (left mid-foot sprain) from the 15-day disabled list and optioned INF Luis Hernandez to Double-A Bowie.
  • Crawford, who entered hitting just .222 (10-for-45) against Bedard, went 3-for-4 against him Sunday.
  • Bedard has allowed 19 homers in 154 1/3 innings this season.
  • Sonnanstine has given up 12 homers in his 12 starts.
  • Devil Rays 3B Akinori Iwamura struck out in all four at-bats against Bedard. C Josh Paul was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts against the left-hander.
  • Iwamura singled in the ninth off Danys Baez to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games.
  • Mora has 132 career homers, 24 coming against Tampa Bay.
 
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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July's AL pitcher of the month Erik Bedard improves to 8-0 in his last 10 starts; his last loss was June 10.  (AP)
July's AL pitcher of the month Erik Bedard improves to 8-0 in his last 10 starts; his last loss was June 10. (AP)

Players of the Game
Baltimore

J. Gibbons
AB 5
R 1
H 4
HR 0
RBI 0
Baltimore

E. Bedard
IP 6.2
H 9
ER 3
BB 0
K 11
 

Related Video

Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B4111101 .314
Corey Patterson, CF5123010 .268
Nick Markakis, RF5022010 .292
Miguel Tejada, SS5111002 .298
    Brandon Fahey, SS0000000 .237
Aubrey Huff, 1B5231000 .258
Melvin Mora, 3B4211102 .265
Jay Gibbons, DH5140000 .228
Jay Payton, LF4111102 .266
Paul Bako, C5211033 .219
Totals4211161135  
Batting
2B - Corey Patterson (23, Sonnanstine), Aubrey Huff (24, Sonnanstine)
HR - Miguel Tejada (9, Sonnanstine), Aubrey Huff (8, Fossum), Melvin Mora (13, Reyes)
RBI - Brian Roberts (42), Corey Patterson 3 (33), Nick Markakis 2 (67), Miguel Tejada (47), Aubrey Huff (48), Melvin Mora (42), Jay Payton (41), Paul Bako (7)
2-OUT RBI - Brian Roberts (19), Corey Patterson 3 (16), Nick Markakis 2 (23)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Mora-Huff
Baltimore Orioles
Erik Bedard (W,12-4) 6.29330112 3.09
Chad Bradford 1.1100120 2.60
Danys Baez 1200000 5.40
WP - Erik Bedard (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Erik Bedard 115-75, Chad Bradford 26-14, Danys Baez 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Erik Bedard 6-3, Chad Bradford 2-0, Danys Baez 1-1
Batters Faced - Erik Bedard 29, Chad Bradford 6, Danys Baez 4
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 3B5010043 .296
Carl Crawford, LF5241000 .303
B.J. Upton, CF5122001 .325
Carlos Pena, 1B4010013 .279
Delmon Young, RF4010020 .292
Brendan Harris, 2B3000112 .298
Jonny Gomes, DH3010000 .256
   a- Greg Norton, PH-DH1000000 .190
Josh Wilson, SS3020010 .250
   b- Ben Zobrist, PH-SS1000011 .167
Josh Paul, C3000033 .212
   c- Dioner Navarro, PH1000000 .189
Totals383123113  
a-grounded out for Gomes in the 8th
b-struck out for Wilson in the 8th
c-flied out for Paul in the 9th
Batting
HR - Carl Crawford (9, Bedard), B.J. Upton (15, Bedard)
RBI - Carl Crawford (60), B.J. Upton 2 (49)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Delmon Young 1
PB - Josh Paul (4)
E - Josh Paul (1, Throwing), Carlos Pena (6, Missed catch of throw)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Andy Sonnanstine (L,1-7) 3.2877211 6.12
Casey Fossum 1.1433101 7.70
Juan Salas 2200010 2.95
Brian Stokes 1000020 7.76
Al Reyes 1211011 4.39
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Sonnanstine 75-51, Casey Fossum 30-16, Juan Salas 22-18, Brian Stokes 17-12, Al Reyes 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Sonnanstine 4-6, Casey Fossum 1-2, Juan Salas 3-2, Brian Stokes 1-0
Batters Faced - Andy Sonnanstine 21, Casey Fossum 8, Juan Salas 8, Brian Stokes 3, Al Reyes 5
Game Information
Attendance - 19845
Game Time - 3:03
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Rick Reed, First Base - Scott Barry, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Chuck Meriwether