Baltimore (58-71) at Tampa Bay (59-71)

Fair Currently: St. Petersburg, FL
Temp: 82° F
  • Game info: 7:15 pm EDT Tue Aug 31, 2004
  • TV: CSN, WPXM
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Having finally snapped their longest losing streak in nearly two years, the Baltimore Orioles try to win consecutive games for the first time in three weeks when they begin a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Baltimore beat the Toronto Blue Jays 11-7 on Aug. 15 for its 11th win in 13 games, but went on to lose its next 12 contests. The Orioles snapped that skid Sunday with a 7-6 win over the Texas Rangers.

Baltimore, which hasn’t won two in a row since Aug. 12-13, was on its longest slide since dropping the final 12 games of the 2002 season.

On Sunday, Melvin Mora drove in four runs and Sidney Ponson won for the sixth time in his last seven decisions to lead the Orioles.

“If we’d lost this one today, we might as well have called it a season,” Ponson said.

Baltimore’s Brian Roberts reached base four times and scored three runs.

“We were ready for something positive to happen,” Roberts said. “We thought we’d break the streak every day for the last 10 days. Now we can move on.”

The Orioles are moving on to play a Tampa Bay team with which they’ve split 16 meetings this season.

The Devil Rays come into this contest after getting swept in a three-game set with the Oakland Athletics over the weekend. Tampa Bay had won four in a row before that series.

The Devil Rays scored 17 runs in the series with Oakland, but lost the first two games by one run before falling 9-6 on Sunday.

“We battled them for three days here,” Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. “It’s hard for us to beat good teams, especially on the road.”

The Devil Rays, who lead the Orioles by one-half game for third place in the AL East, won the season series 11-8 last season and are 56-54 all-time against Baltimore.

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B. Chen Cle vs. R. Bell CWS
2-1 Record 8-8
3.02 ERA 4.46
32 K 57
16 BB 41
1.15 WHIP 1.32