BALTIMORE (AP) -- Rafael Palmeiro picked an ideal time to end his
long-ball drought at Camden Yards.
Palmeiro homered to ignite Baltimore's second comeback of the
game, and the Orioles got a season-high three RBI from Miguel
Tejada in a 7-6 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Thursday
Baltimore trailed 6-4 before rallying for its sixth win in seven
Palmeiro cut the gap to 6-5 by leading off the sixth with his
second home run of the season, a drive to right off Jorge Sosa. It
was his 102nd homer at Camden Yards, the most by any player, but
his first since May 23, 1999, when he played for the Texas Rangers.
"He hit it at the right time, I'll tell you that," Orioles
manager Lee Mazzilli said.
"I was just trying to get on base and get something going,"
Palmeiro said. "With the guys behind me, maybe we could start a
rally together. He gave me a good pitch that I could put the good
part of the bat on."
In the Baltimore seventh, Trever Miller retired the first two
batters before Brian Roberts hit a double. Chad Gaudin (0-1) came
in and gave up an RBI double to Melvin Mora, and Tejada followed
with a run-scoring single to right.
John Parrish (1-0) retired all six batters he faced to earn his
fourth major league victory, the first since Sept. 22, 2001. After
B.J. Ryan worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth, Jorge
Julio got three outs for his second save.
Robert Fick homered for the Devil Rays, who also blew a 3-0 lead
and failed to post their first winning streak of the season.
"We couldn't hold a lead," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella
said. "We swung the bats better, and had a chance in the eighth --
bases loaded, one out -- but the guy worked out of it."
"I think teams are going to start to notice that if we can get
into our bullpen with a lead, we're going to have a lot of wins,"
Tampa Bay trailed 4-3 before scoring three in the sixth against
Kurt Ainsworth. Rocco Baldelli singled and scored on a double by
Aubrey Huff before Fick sent a 2-1 pitch far over the 25-foot
scoreboard in right.
But the lead wouldn't last.
"This team always finds a way to get it done," Mazzilli said.
"It's hard to keep coming back, but we kept coming."
The game began as a matchup between two pitchers who came to the
Orioles from San Francisco last July in the trade for Sidney
Damian Moss, signed as a free agent by Tampa Bay in January,
yielded four runs in 3 2-3 innings. Ainsworth allowed six runs,
five earned, and seven hits in five-plus innings.
"We don't have any consistency from our starters, other than
Abbott and Zambrano, who are doing a good job," Piniella said.
"The other guys are, uh, just out there."
Moss was perfect through three innings, but he never made it out
of the fourth. Roberts hit a leadoff single and took third when
Moss threw wildly to first on Mora's infield hit.
"He was sailing along for three innings then got in trouble in
the fourth and started getting the ball up," Piniella said. "The
bunt single seemed to unnerve him."
Tejada then hit a two-run single, Gibbons drove in a run with a
groundout, and David Segui chased Moss with a two-out RBI single.
Baltimore's Javy Lopez went 0-for-4, ending his career-best
hitting streak at 16 games. ... Tampa Bay left-handers are winless
in 19 starts since May 13, 2003. ... The Devil Rays endured their
first multiple-error game, committing three, including miscues on
successive plays in the fourth inning.