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Tampa Bay 9, Baltimore 2

BALTIMORE (AP) -- The Baltimore Orioles had just turned in a
horrid performance against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and Mike
Hargrove was livid.

Moments after the Orioles' losing streak reached eight games
with a 9-2 defeat Tuesday night, Hargrove ripped his players behind
closed doors.

"I think at times we were not mentally ready to play the
game," Hargrove said later. "You have that approach, and that's
what you'll see.

"We didn't look real sharp. We were not really intelligent
hitters, not really intelligent defenders, not really intelligent
pitchers. So we pretty much covered the whole ball of wax."

The uninspired effort left the Orioles a season-high 10 games
under .500. Half the losses in the eight-game skid have come
against the Devil Rays, who are 11-6 against Baltimore this year.

"We haven't been winning, but today we beat ourselves,"
Orioles catcher Brook Fordyce said. "It seemed like we were flat,
or the intensity wasn't there, and (Hargrove) brought it to our
attention."

Rocco Baldelli drove in three runs to back a fine outing by
right-hander Jeremi Gonzalez as Tampa Bay improved to 19-13 since
the All-Star break. The Devil Rays have won six of eight, including
four straight against Baltimore.

"Whatever the reason, they have our number," Fordyce said.

Baldelli doubled in a first-inning run and gave Tampa Bay the
lead for good with a two-out, two-run single in the seventh.

Julio Lugo and Jared Sandberg homered in a five-run ninth, and
suddenly, the last-place Devil Rays find themselves just six games
behind the Orioles.

"I can't see us playing more confidently and much better than
we are now," Baldelli said. "Every day when we go out on the
field, for at least the last two months, we go out there expecting
to win."

Gonzalez (6-5) allowed two runs -- one earned -- and five hits in
7 1-3 innings. He's 3-1 in nine starts since June 27.

Gonzalez outpitched Eric DuBose (1-3), who gave up three runs
and nine hits over seven innings in his first start since joining
the rotation for Rick Helling, who was designated for assignment on
Friday.

"Eric pitched well enough to win. We just didn't score any
runs," Hargrove said.

That's because the Orioles were too anxious at the plate,
according to Hargrove. In addition, Jack Cust -- who performed a
pratfall during a rundown Saturday night and was tagged for the
final out in a loss to New York -- was picked off second base in the
fifth.

Held to three hits over the first five innings, Baltimore used a
two-run sixth to take a 2-1 lead. After Deivi Cruz hit a leadoff
single and B.J. Surhoff hit a drive off the top of the center-field
wall, the relay from Marlon Anderson sailed over the plate to
Gonzalez, who attempted to nail Cruz with a quick throw off third.

The toss was wild, allowing Cruz to score and Surhoff to take
third. Jay Gibbons followed with a sacrifice fly.

"A little bit of Devil Ray baseball," manager Lou Piniella
joked.

But Tampa Bay quickly regained the lead in the seventh on
Baldelli's two-run single to left.

"The big hit in the ballgame was Rocco's," Piniella said.

Anderson hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth to make it 4-2. Lugo
led off the ninth with his eighth homer and Damian Rolls added an
RBI single before Sandberg hit a three-run shot to chase Jorge
Julio.

Game notes
Baltimore 2B Brian Roberts was a late scratch from the
starting lineup because of a stomachache. He had started 76 of 79
games since joining the team May 21. ... The Devil Rays claimed OF
Adam Piatt off waivers from Oakland; he is expected to report to
the team in Baltimore on Wednesday. ... Crawford stole his 19th
straight base in the first inning, but was thrown out at third to
end the club-record streak.