BALTIMORE (AP) -- During a season in which they have been
tormented by poor pitching and a glaring lack of clutch hitting,
the Baltimore Orioles eliminated those deficiencies Monday.
The result was an uplifting 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil
Rays in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.
"Cabrera was outstanding," Baltimore manager Lee Mazzilli
said. "And today was a good game because we had some two-out hits
that were big."
Tino Martinez homered for the Devil Rays, who have lost two
straight after winning 19 of 23. Tampa Bay scored only five runs in
its last four losses.
"We're struggling to score runs," manager Lou Piniella said.
"We've been shut out twice and you've got to score runs in this
league to win with any consistency. It's too hard to win with two
or three runs."
Baltimore took the lead with a two-run seventh against Dewon
Brazelton (2-1). Lopez hit a leadoff double, but the next two
batters grounded out. Matos and Raines followed with consecutive
The Orioles came in batting .237 with two outs and runners in
scoring position, and Matos was batting just .246 when he came to
the plate with the game hanging in the balance. But he delivered
with a liner into the left-field corner.
"That was big for him, no question," Mazzilli said. "It was a
lift for all of us. When you have a man on third and don't get him
in, it deflates you. But Luis got a big two-out hit, and then Timmy
got another two-out hit."
Baltimore's bullpen came in with a 4.35 ERA and 11 blown saves
in 25 chances.
Brazelton permitted only one runner over the first four innings
and struck out five of his 13 batters, but Baltimore took a 2-0
lead in the fifth. Lopez was hit by a pitch and took third on a
double by Larry Bigbie before Jerry Hairston singled in a run.
Bigbie scored on a double-play grounder.
That was the extent of the Baltimore offense until the seventh,
when Brazelton was on the brink of escaping unscathed before Matos
and Raines delivered. The right-hander was hoping to justify
Piniella's faith in keeping him in, but couldn't come through.
"It feels good. He's a very hard guy to earn his trust,"
Brazelton said. "It was a big vote of confidence for me, and I
wish I'd actually gotten out of it. But for him to come out and
give me that opportunity, that was good, because I thought I was
Cabrera held the Devil Rays to one hit through five innings but
needed a defensive gem to keep the game scoreless in the second.
After Julio Lugo was credited with a two-out triple when Raines
failed to make a diving catch of his sinking liner to right,
Cabrera loaded the bases with two walks. Raines then made amends
with a fine diving catch of a short line drive by Rey Sanchez.
"I figured there was no way I was going to let that run score
because I felt like I should have caught the first one," Raines
But the Devil Rays tied it in the sixth. Rocco Baldelli singled
and Martinez hit his 13th homer, a two-out drive on a 3-2 pitch.
Four of Martinez's five hits against the Orioles this season have
Cabrera was pulled in the seventh after a two-out double by
Sanchez, who was stranded when Ryan retired Carl Crawford on a
liner to third.
The Orioles placed 3B Melvin Mora on the 15-day disabled
list with a strained right hamstring to make room for second-game
starter Dave Borkowski. ... It was Martinez's first homer since
June 19. ... Tejada played in his 673rd consecutive game, tying
Earl Averill Sr. for the 16th-longest streak in major league