Baltimore manager Mark Hargrove hopes his tongue-lashing keeps paying dividends.
The Orioles look to make it back-to-back wins over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as they finish up a three-game series at Camden Yards.
After a 9-2 loss to Tampa Bay on Tuesday stretched Baltimore’s losing streak to eight games, Hargrove scolded his team behind closed doors.
The message seems to have gotten across.
“Everybody came to work today and we played with an attitude. That was good to see,” Hargrove said. “We’ve got one in a row now. The trick is to continue this by going out and winning tomorrow.”
Jeff Conine returned to the Orioles lineup to go 2-for-2 with two walks, two RBIs and three runs scored.
“It feels good, kind of like a big sigh of relief,” Gibbons said after Baltimore won its first game since Aug. 10. “Having Niner back in the lineup was huge for us.”
The Orioles were 1-9 without Conine, who was sidelined with bursitis in his right arm.
“I’m glad I helped out tonight,” Conine said. “Now hopefully we can get some momentum going.”
The loss dropped Tampa Bay to 11-8 in August. The Devil Rays are trying to put together back-to-back winning months for the first time ever after going 15-12 in July.
Tampa Bay has won six of nine and is 19-14 since the All-Star break.
STANDINGS: Devil Rays - 5th place, 27 GB, AL East. Orioles - 4th place, 20 GB, AL East.
DEVIL RAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Chad Gaudin (1-0, 3.95 ERA). Gaudin will be making his second consecutive start. The rookie right-hander did not receive a decision after allowing three runs and six hits in 3 2-3 innings of a 5-3 Tampa Bay win over Cleveland on Saturday.
ORIOLES PROBABLE STARTER: Jason Johnson (10-5, 3.77 ERA). Johnson is 5-4 with a 5.14 ERA in 11 career appearances against Tampa Bay, including 10 starts. The right-hander didn’t receive a decision after holding the New York Yankees to two runs and seven hits over seven innings in Baltimore’s 6-4 loss Friday.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Devil Rays - Aubrey Huff, .301 avg., 20 HRs and 70 RBIs; Baldelli, 68 runs; Carl Crawford, 41 SBs. Orioles - Gibbons, .295 avg. and 88 RBIs; Tony Batista, 21 HRs; Conine, 72 runs; Brian Roberts, 18 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Devil Rays, 11-7.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Devil Rays - OF Damian Rolls is 0-for-9 with two strikeouts against RHP Johnson. … OF Crawford has 19 SBs since the All-Star break and leads the AL with 41. … OF Huff leads the AL with 44 doubles. Orioles - Baltimore had been outscored 17-2 in its previous two games before breaking out for nine runs on Wednesday. … RHP Johnson is 2-0 with a 2.37 ERA in August. … OF Gibbons has 88 RBIs in 123 games. He had 69 RBIs in 136 games last season.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Devil Rays - 22-40 on the road; Orioles - 32-32 at home.
INJURIES: Devil Rays - SS Rey Ordonez (knee), 15-day DL; INF Terry Shumpert (hamstring), 15-day DL; OF Ben Grieve (blood clot), 60-day DL; RHP Seth McClung (elbow), 60-day DL. Orioles - 1B David Segui (wrist), 15-day DL; OF Melvin Mora (hand), 15-day DL; RHP Kurt Ainsworth (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Omar Daal (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Erik Bedard (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Scott Erickson (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Willis Roberts (knee), 60-day DL; 2B Jerry Hairston Jr. (foot), 60-day DL; OF Albert Belle (hip), 60-day DL; OF Marty Cordova (elbow), 60-day DL.