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Baltimore at Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay
W: B. Matusz (2-2) L: J. Shields (7-10)
S: J. Johnson (5)
HR: BAL - B. Roberts (12), N. Reimold (11)   TB - B. Zobrist (21)

Orioles 8, Rays 7

CBSSports.com wire reports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Brian Roberts knows the Orioles are concentrating on more than wins as the 2009 season winds down.

Roberts hit his fourth career grand slam and rookie Nolan Reimold added a three-run shot, leading Baltimore past the Tampa Bay Rays 8-7 on Thursday night.

"This may sound bad, but we're not too focused on wins and losses," Roberts said. "They are what they are right now. Certainly you don't want to lose, but what I'm saying is we're playing good games and you want to win."

Baltimore (49-72) is heading for its 12th straight losing season and looking toward the future. The Orioles have had rookie pitchers start 69 games this year.

Roberts' 12th homer of the season came on a 3-2 pitch from reliever Lance Cormier with two outs in the sixth and made it 5-1. Roberts was the first batter Cormier faced -- he replaced starter James Shields. It was Roberts' first grand slam since June 20, 2004, against Colorado.

"I fell behind him, so the pitches I went to were fastballs," Cormier said. "He's probably sitting 3-2 fastball. I just went with a two-seamer that didn't get the outside part of the plate. In my mind, I'm not going to walk this guy. Make him put it in play, trust percentages and I gave him too good of a pitch to hit."

Reimold extended Baltimore's advantage to 8-4 with his homer in the seventh. The Orioles stopped a five-game losing streak and are 9-24 since the All-Star break.

"The home run ball usually plays against us, but it was really for us tonight" Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.

Ben Zobrist homered and had four RBI for the Rays, who entered with a four-game winning streak. Carlos Pena drove in two runs with a single during a three-run eighth as Tampa Bay cut its deficit to 8-7.

"It's a tough loss," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We just have to put it aside and come back tomorrow night.

The Rays are four games behind AL wild-card leader Boston. Texas, trailing the Red Sox by a game, opens a three-game at Tampa Bay on Friday night.

Jim Johnson pitched the final 1 1/3 innings for his fifth save. The Baltimore closer, who rejoined the team after missing the previous two games for the birth of his daughter, struck out Evan Longoria a runner on third and two outs in the ninth.

"I loved the fight," Maddon said. "We were there to the very end."

Shields (7-10) allowed four runs and seven hits over 5 2/3 innings. All three runs charged to him in the sixth were unearned because leadoff hitter Reimold reached second on third baseman Longoria's throwing error. The Rays' opening day starter is 1-5 over his last 11 starts.

Zobrist put the Rays up 1-0 with a first-inning RBI double, and then got Tampa Bay to 5-4 on a three-run homer off Brian Matusz (2-2) in the sixth.

Matusz, making his fourth major league start, gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.

"I feel like it was the first time this year I was really able to settle down and get into a great groove," Matusz said.

Baltimore tied it at 1 when Cesar Izturis hit a run-scoring grounder in the fifth.


Shields (3.81) is the only AL pitcher with 10 defeats and an ERA under 4.00. ... Roberts has a 10-game hitting streak. ... Tampa Bay 2B Akinori Iwamura (left knee surgery) was the DH for Triple-A Durham two days after leaving a minor league rehab start with leg muscle fatigue. ... The Orioles claimed RHP Chris Lambert off waivers from Detroit and optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk. ... Injured Baltimore INF Luis Montanez (right thumb) will play in the Puerto Rico winter league. ... Baltimore has set up a throwing program for RHP Koji Uehara (right elbow), who is rehabbing at the team's minor league complex in Sarasota, Fla.
Copyright 2017 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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Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

B. Zobrist
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

B. Roberts
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B5124000 .292
Cesar Izturis, SS5011000 .264
Luke Scott, DH4120112 .269
Nick Markakis, RF4120101 .308
Nolan Reimold, LF4213014 .273
    Adam Jones, CF1000000 .285
Michael Aubrey, 1B5010001 .333
Ty Wigginton, 3B4110111 .259
Chad Moeller, C4000033 .200
Felix Pie, CF-LF3210101 .247
2B - Michael Aubrey (1, Wheeler)
HR - Brian Roberts (12, Cormier), Nolan Reimold (11, Springer)
RBI - Brian Roberts 4 (56), Cesar Izturis (23), Nolan Reimold 3 (36)
2-OUT RBI - Brian Roberts 4 (12)
Team LOB - 8
DP - B. Roberts-Izturis-Aubrey
E - Ty Wigginton (4, Misplayed grounder)
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Matusz (W,2-2) 5.1744071 6.75
Kam Mickolio (H,1) 1.2100020 0.00
Danys Baez 0.1230010 4.15
Mark Hendrickson (H,2) 0.1100000 4.64
Jim Johnson (S,5) 1.1100010 2.86
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Matusz 91-60, Kam Mickolio 34-21, Danys Baez 17-10, Mark Hendrickson 6-4, Jim Johnson 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Matusz 2-6, Danys Baez 1-0, Mark Hendrickson 1-0, Jim Johnson 2-1
Batters Faced - Brian Matusz 22, Kam Mickolio 6, Danys Baez 4, Mark Hendrickson 2, Jim Johnson 5
Tampa Bay Rays
Jason Bartlett, SS5130020 .344
Carl Crawford, LF5110013 .321
Evan Longoria, 3B5320021 .276
Ben Zobrist, 2B4124022 .289
Pat Burrell, DH4120011 .232
Willy Aybar, 1B3000001 .263
    Gabe Gross, RF1001000 .260
Gabe Kapler, RF2000010 .239
   a- Carlos Pena, PH-1B2012011 .213
Dioner Navarro, C3010000 .221
   b- Gregg Zaun, PH-C1000001 .254
B.J. Upton, CF4000011 .239
a-struck out for Kapler in the 6th
b-grounded out for Navarro in the 8th
2B - Evan Longoria 2 (34, Matusz, Matusz), Ben Zobrist (17, Matusz)
HR - Ben Zobrist (21, Matusz)
RBI - Ben Zobrist 4 (65), Gabe Gross (33), Carlos Pena 2 (79)
2-OUT RBI - Ben Zobrist (24), Carlos Pena 2 (23)
SB - Jason Bartlett (22, 2nd base off Johnson/Moeller), Dioner Navarro (4, 2nd base off Matusz/Moeller)
Team LOB - 5
E - Evan Longoria (12, Throwing)
Tampa Bay Rays
James Shields (L,7-10) 5.2741250 3.81
Lance Cormier 0.1133201 3.11
Russ Springer 1111001 4.08
Randy Choate 1.1100000 4.37
Dan Wheeler 0.2100010 3.40
Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 106-71, Lance Cormier 22-8, Russ Springer 14-11, Randy Choate 18-9, Dan Wheeler 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 7-6, Lance Cormier 1-0, Russ Springer 1-2, Randy Choate 4-0, Dan Wheeler 1-0
Batters Faced - James Shields 27, Lance Cormier 4, Russ Springer 4, Randy Choate 5, Dan Wheeler 3
Game Information
Attendance - 15870
Game Time - 3:24
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Jeff Nelson, First Base - Rob Drake, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Mark Wegner