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Pena breaks Devil Rays record with 35th HR in win over Orioles

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Carlos Pena spent most of last season toiling in the minors for the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. One year, he's become the one of the top power hitters in Tampa Bay's short history.

Pena hit his team-record 35th homer, a tiebreaking two-run drive in a three-run seventh inning that helped the Devil Rays overcome a four-run deficit and beat the Baltimore Orioles 9-7 Monday night.

"It's pretty cool," Pena said. "I'm extremely excited. At heart, I'm just a kid playing baseball still."

The Devil Rays almost missed out on Pena, who signed as a free agent with Tampa Bay during the offseason. The only reason he made the opening-day roster was because Greg Norton hurt his knee at the end of spring training.

"I don't take it for granted," Pena said.

Pena avoided a potential injury earlier in the game when he was hit on the helmet above the right ear by a Rocky Cherry pitch in the fifth.

"It hurt a lot," Pena said. "I'm fine."

Pena's drive off Jim Hoey (1-4) struck an overhanging catwalk and gave Tampa Bay a 6-4 lead. Pena's home-run total is one more than Jose Canseco (1999) and current Orioles designated hitter Aubrey Huff (2003) hit for the Devil Rays.

"That ball was crushed," Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "He got us going again. Another big knock."

James Shields (11-8) gave up four runs -- one earned -- and seven hits in seven innings for the Devil Rays, who have won nine of 11. Delmon Young had three RBI, including a run-scoring double in the seventh. Akinori Iwamura added a two-run homer in the eighth off Brian Burres that made it 9-4.

Ramon Hernandez hit a three-run homer in the ninth off Al Reyes.

Baltimore has lost 12 of 13 -- getting outscored 128-56 -- and is just three games ahead of the Devil Rays for fourth place in the AL East. Tampa Bay has finished last in all but one of its first nine years -- it was fourth in 2004.

"It's usually not one thing that's your downfall," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "It's a combination of things, but I would say tonight, the pitching was probably a lot more predominant than anything else."

Baltimore's Kurt Birkins allowed four runs and six hits over four innings in his first major league start. The left-hander made 45 relief appearances during the past two seasons.

Corey Patterson drove in two runs with a single, and Miguel Tejada hit a sacrifice fly during a four-run third that put Baltimore ahead 4-0. Tampa Bay made two errors during the inning.

The Devil Rays closed to 4-3 in the bottom half as All-Star Carl Crawford was ejected.

Crawford was tossed by umpire Paul Nauert after hitting an RBI grounder with the bases loaded and no outs that made it 4-1. Crawford immediately spun around after crossing first and ran toward Nauert after being called out on a close play. Crawford used both hands to throw his helmet to the ground and later jumped on the back of first-base coach George Hendrick, who had gotten between the left fielder and Nauert.

"My emotions was running high at the time. Seeing him pump his fist out, it just shocked me," Crawford said. "I'm glad he (Hendrick) was there because I probably would have did something that I would have regretted later on."

Crawford hopes he doesn't get a suspension.

"I don't want to get suspended, but you can't really argue with the fact of what happened," Crawford said.

Replays showed that Baltimore first baseman Kevin Millar may have left the bag early while catching the throw from Tejada at shortstop.

Young, who has an 11-game hitting streak, followed with a two-run single. Tampa Bay tied it at 4-all on Dioner Navarro's fourth-inning RBI single.

Notes

  • Shields became the third Tampa Bay pitcher to reach 200 innings pitched in a season.
  • Orioles LHP Erik Bedard is scheduled to have a strained muscle in his right side examined Tuesday by team orthopedist Dr. Andrew Cosgarea.
  • Maddon said test results should become available in the next few days on CF Rocco Baldelli, who had his rehab assignment for a strained left hamstring stopped late last month.
  • SS Josh Wilson misplayed Brian Roberts' grounder in the third for his fifth error in three games.
 
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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Carlos Pena makes his team-record 35th homer count, giving Tampa Bay the lead in the 7th inning.  (AP)
Carlos Pena makes his team-record 35th homer count, giving Tampa Bay the lead in the 7th inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

D. Young
AB 5
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
Baltimore

R. Hernandez
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
 

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Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B5110010 .301
Corey Patterson, CF5112021 .269
Nick Markakis, RF3000100 .291
Miguel Tejada, SS3011010 .304
Kevin Millar, 1B4020010 .263
Aubrey Huff, DH3100104 .270
Melvin Mora, 3B4220022 .265
Ramon Hernandez, C4113013 .242
Tike Redman, LF4110000 .314
Totals3579628  
Batting
2B - Kevin Millar (21, Shields)
HR - Ramon Hernandez (8, Reyes)
SF - Miguel Tejada (3)
RBI - Corey Patterson 2 (44), Miguel Tejada (70), Ramon Hernandez 3 (52)
SB - Brian Roberts (40, off Shields/Navarro), Corey Patterson (37, 3rd base off Shields/Navarro)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Corey Patterson 1
Baltimore Orioles
Kurt Birkins 4644230 8.18
Rocky Cherry 2000140 4.67
Jim Hoey (L,1-4) 1233321 12.41
Brian Burres 1222121 5.72
IBB - Norton by Jim Hoey
HBP - Pena (by Rocky Cherry)
Pitches-Strikes - Kurt Birkins 71-41, Rocky Cherry 34-20, Jim Hoey 40-22, Brian Burres 20-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kurt Birkins 4-4, Rocky Cherry 1-1, Jim Hoey 1-0
Batters Faced - Kurt Birkins 19, Rocky Cherry 8, Jim Hoey 8, Brian Burres 6
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 3B5232000 .286
Carl Crawford, LF2001010 .313
    Jonny Gomes, LF2100120 .245
Carlos Pena, 1B4122013 .276
B.J. Upton, CF2100312 .311
Delmon Young, RF5023013 .297
Brendan Harris, 2B4000015 .284
Greg Norton, DH2100220 .216
Josh Wilson, SS4110022 .249
Dioner Navarro, C3221100 .219
Totals339109711  
Batting
2B - Delmon Young (34, Hoey), Dioner Navarro (15, Birkins)
HR - Akinori Iwamura (7, Burres), Carlos Pena (35, Hoey)
RBI - Akinori Iwamura 2 (26), Carl Crawford (75), Carlos Pena 2 (98), Delmon Young 3 (74), Dioner Navarro (36)
2-OUT RBI - Delmon Young 2 (25)
SB - Akinori Iwamura (11, 2nd base off Birkins/Hernandez), B.J. Upton (15, 2nd base off Hoey/Hernandez)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Harris-Wilson-Pena
E - Dioner Navarro (8, Throwing), Josh Wilson (20, Misplayed grounder)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
James Shields (W,11-8) 7741160 4.01
Dan Wheeler (H,13) 1000010 4.90
Al Reyes 1233111 4.88
WP - James Shields (8)
Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 97-66, Dan Wheeler 12-10, Al Reyes 24-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 8-7, Dan Wheeler 1-1
Batters Faced - James Shields 29, Dan Wheeler 3, Al Reyes 6
Game Information
Attendance - 10350
Game Time - 2:49
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Brian Gorman, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Chad Fairchild, Third Base - Rob Drake