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Orioles hang on after scoring eight runs in second inning

BALTIMORE (AP) -- The Baltimore Orioles made the most of one big
inning.

Tony Batista's two-run single capped an eight-run second inning
that carried the Baltimore Orioles to a 9-7 victory over the Tampa
Bay Devil Rays on Friday night.

Batista later hit a solo homer, finishing with three RBI as the
Orioles won their third straight.

"The bats woke up for one inning tonight, but that was
enough," said Baltimore's Jay Gibbons who had two hits and an RBI
in the second. "We took advantage when we had to. It's good to see
us scoring runs this early in the season."

In their last six games, the Orioles have scored 39 runs and won
four times.

Jason Johnson (2-0) allowed four runs _ three earned _ on eight
hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out four.

But Johnson, who retired the first six hitters in order, wasn't
the same after being staked to the big lead.

"After the eight-run inning, I lost my focus," he said. "I
had to step back and kind of realize what I was doing. I went out
and threw fastballs right off the bat, but I couldn't locate it at
all."

Rey Ordonez matched his career high with his third homer for the
Devil Rays, who have lost four straight and six of seven. Toby Hall
added a three-run homer off Rick Bauer in the ninth inning.

Jorge Julio then came on and got three outs for his fourth save.

Tampa Bay starting pitchers still have not won a game this
season and right-hander Victor Zambrano's second-inning struggles
kept that streak intact.

"I think I'm going to buy the first starter who gets a win a
nice big steak," Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella said. "You just
can't fall behind consistently in ballgames and have to claw your
way back to get respectable. We're not going to watch this for
long."

The Orioles sent 13 men to the plate in the second, taking an
8-0 lead. Zambrano (0-2) threw 54 pitches in the inning, hit a
batter and walked four, including two with the bases loaded. No one
warmed up in the bullpen until after Batista's two-out, two-run
finished the scoring.

Jeff Conine led off the inning with a double and the Orioles
quickly loaded the bases on Jay Gibbons' single and a walk to
Batista. Marty Cordova drew a walk for a 1-0 lead and Deivi Cruz
grounded out, scoring Gibbons.

Zambrano grazed Geronimo Gil with a pitch to load the bases
before Jerry Hairston's sacrifice fly made it 4-0. Gary Matthews
Jr. then hit an RBI double, Conine walked with the bases loaded and
Batista singled home two runs.

Cordova flied out to end the inning, starting a streak of 12
straight hitters retired by Zambrano before he walked Hairston with
two outs in the sixth. Zambrano went six innings, allowing eight
earned, six hits and five walks.

Ordonez hit a two-run home run off Jason Johnson with one out in
the third. The Devil Rays got within 8-3 in the fourth when Al
Martin doubled, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on
Damion Easley's single to right.

Marlon Anderson's run-scoring infield single in the sixth made
it 8-4.

Batista hit a solo homer to left-center off reliever Jesus
Colome in the seventh.

Game notes
Ordonez has three homers in 16 games this season. He hit
three in 149 games with the New York Mets in 2001 and entered the
season with eight homers in 916 career games. ... Before his RBI
single, Easley was in a 3-for-26 slump. ... Lifetime versus
Zambrano, Gibbons is 5-for-9 with three RBIs. ... The Orioles'
winning streak is their best since winning four straight last Aug.
19-23. The first three victories in that streak came against Tampa
Bay. ... Tampa Bay rookie OF Rocco Baldelli had two hits, giving
him 26 in 16 games.