Benson picks up first win with Orioles

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Kris Benson had his second consecutive solid outing. This time, he got the win.

Benson took a four-hitter into the eighth inning for his first victory with the Baltimore Orioles and Melvin Mora homered Tuesday night in an 8-4 win over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

"He pitched great," Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said. "For the most part, he has kept the ball down. He's worked both sides of the plate. And his changeup, I don't think he had his changeup last year. It's a good pitch for him, especially against left-handed hitters. I think it's helped him a lot."

Benson (1-1) gave up two runs and five hits in seven-plus innings. He departed after allowing Joey Gathright's leadoff single in the eighth.

The right-hander, acquired from the New York Mets in January for pitchers Jorge Julio and John Maine, lost his first start on April 6 despite yielding only two runs over seven innings in a 2-0 loss to Tampa Bay.

"That's a tremendous pitch for me," Benson said, referring to his changeup. "That was my weakness in years past. That's one of the two pitches I came out of camp with that I felt were going to be the key. My cutter still needs a little work, but the changeup I can consider one of my better pitches. It gets me out of some jams."

Chris Ray struck out pinch-hitter Jorge Cantu with two on for his third save.

David Newhan, Miguel Tejada and Brian Roberts had two RBI each
for Baltimore, which has won two in a row after a four-game losing streak.

The Devil Rays got a home run from Ty Wigginton. Tampa Bay has lost its first two home games after going 3-3 during a season-opening trip to Baltimore and Toronto.

Tampa Bay third baseman Aubrey Huff left in the fourth with a left knee sprain after he and shortstop Nick Green bumped into each other in front of the bullpen on Mora's foul popup.

"We were both going after the ball and I looked down to see where everything was and I was about to call it," Green said. "All of a sudden I hit him. It happened so fast."

Huff, who was able to walk off the field, underwent X-rays and an MRI. A team official said more details about the injury will be known Wednesday.

"He didn't feel anything pop," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "It was such a weird fall. I just didn't want to take any chances on leaving him out there any longer."

Devil Rays starter Jason Hammel (0-1) retired his first two batters in his major-league debut before Mora put the Orioles up 1-0 with his home run. All three of his homers this season have come against Tampa Bay.

The Devil Rays tied it on Wigginton's shot in the second. Russell Branyan had a sixth-inning sacrifice fly.

Newhan hit an RBI infield single and Tejada drove in two with a double as Baltimore took a 4-1 lead in the third.

Roberts had a two-run double and Newhan picked up another run-scoring single in a three-run fourth that made it 7-1. Javy Lopez extended the advantage to 8-2 on an eighth-inning RBI single.

Hammel gave up seven runs and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings. He pitched in place of Mark Hendrickson, sidelined by left shoulder stiffness. The Devil Rays hope he will miss only two starts.

"After the first couple innings I felt pretty confident," said Hammel, slated to pitch again Sunday. "I'm disappointed with the outcome. I'm definitely looking forward to the next one."

Tampa Bay scored twice in the ninth off Jim Brower.

Game notes
One day after the Devil Rays drew 40,199 for their home opener -- the fourth sellout in team history -- the crowd was 12,600. ... Cantu (bruised left foot) was out of the starting lineup for fourth straight game. ... Hammel was recalled from Triple-A Durham after Hendrickson was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday.