On Saturday, Jorge Sosa allowed three hits in five innings to become the first Tampa Bay starting pitcher to win a game this season as the Devil Rays topped the Orioles 8-7.
Tampa Bay starters hadn’t recorded a victory in the first 16 games. It’s the deepest into the season since the 1992 Kansas City Royals, which got their first win from a starting pitcher in the 18th game.
The Devil Rays will need quite a turnaround from Bierbrodt, though, to get back-to-back wins from their starters.
The left-hander hasn’t gotten through the fifth inning in any of his three starts this season, allowing 17 earned runs in 13 innings. In two starts against the Orioles, Bierbrodt is 0-0 with a 6.10 ERA. Bierbrodt last faced the Orioles on April 9, allowing nine hits and seven runs—five earned—over 4 1-3 innings in a 10-7 win.
George Lombard, Aubrey Huff and Damion Easley homered in Saturday’s win for the Devil Rays, ending their four-game losing streak. Huff has a 10-game hitting streak and has hit safely in 11 of his last 13 games.
B.J. Surhoff homered and drove in four runs for Baltimore, which had its season-high three-game winning streak snapped. The Orioles were bidding to reach .500 for the first time since last Aug. 23.
On Sunday, Baltimore starter Omar Daal will try again for his first win of the season after going 0-2 with a 8.04 ERA in his first three starts.
In his last start, an 8-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday, Daal started the game with three perfect innings, but finished with seven runs and nine hits allowed over 4 1-3 innings. Daal was eventually ejected for apparently throwing at Cleveland’s Matt Lawton.
Daal said the three perfect innings are proof that he can an effective starter for the Orioles, who signed the lefty to a two-year deal in the offseason.
“That means I am fine,” he said. “I feel fine. There is no reason to be concerned. I am going to go out 1/8 Sunday 3/8 and throw my best.”
STANDINGS: Devil Rays - 5th place, 8 GB, AL East. Orioles - 3rd place, 5 1/2 GB, AL East.
DEVIL RAYS PROBABLE STARTER Bierbrodt (0-1, 11.17 ERA). In his last start, a 6-5 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday, Bierbrodt allowed five runs and 10 hits over 4 2-3 innings, but didn’t receive a decision.
ORIOLES PROBABLE STARTER: Daal (0-2, 8.04 ERA).In two career starts against the Devil Rays, Daal is 0-1 with a 11.57 ERA. In a 10-7 loss to Tampa Bay on April 9, Daal allowed eight hits and three earned runs over five innings, and didn’t receive a decision
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Devil Rays - Rocco Baldelli, .386 avg.; Rey Ordonez, 3 HRs and 14 RBIs; Carl Crawford, 11 runs and 5 SBs. Orioles - Tony Batista, .311 avg., 4 HRs, 14 RBIs and 12 runs; Jerry Hairston Jr., 6 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Devil Rays, 3-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Devil Rays - The Devil Rays evened the all-time series with Baltimore at 40-40 with Saturday’s win. … 3B Damon Easley has more homers in his career against the Orioles than any other opponent (14). … On Saturday, the Devil Rays put first baseman Travis Lee on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Monday, with a sore muscle in his lower left ribcage. Orioles - Baltimore has had 5 hits or less in 5 of their 16 games …. The Orioles have allowed 6 runs or more in 8 of their last 13 games …. 3B Batista hit two home runs against LHP Bierbrodt in the Orioles’ 10-7 loss to the Devil Rays on April 9.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Devil Rays - 2-5 on the road; Orioles - 3-5 at home.
INJURIES: Devil Rays - 1B Lee (rib cage), 15-day DL; LHP Jim Parque (shoulder), 15-day DL. Orioles - LHP Erik Bedard (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Scott Erickson (shoulder), 60-day DL; OF Albert Belle (hip), 60-day DL; DH David Segui (hamstring), day-to-day.