Baltimore is seeking its first eight-game winning streak since Aug. 3-10, 2004. The Orioles rallied from a 4-0 deficit for a 7-5 victory Saturday, matching the franchise record of 16 wins in April.
The previous times the Orioles won 16 games in April were in 1969, when they went to the World Series, and 1997, when they went wire-to-wire to win the AL East.
“We are playing good baseball,” Orioles right fielder Sammy Sosa said. “Right now we’ve got a beautiful thing going, and we want to keep it up.”
Brian Roberts continued his hot hitting with a three-run homer in the eighth inning that snapped a 4-4 tie. Roberts finished the month with eight homers after connecting 12 times in his previous 384 career games.
“When you’ve had six or seven (straight) losing seasons, you need something to build confidence early,” Roberts said. “The way we’ve been playing, everybody seems to get big hits.”
Baltimore shortstop Miguel Tejada homered for the third straight game and drove in three runs. Tejada has 11 RBIs over his last five games.
Tampa Bay lost its sixth straight after reliever Travis Harper failed to hold a 4-2 lead in the seventh inning. Harper was charged with five runs and four hits in two innings.
The Devil Rays turn to Dewon Brazelton to avoid the sweep. Brazelton will take his turn in the rotation because he is appealing a five-game suspension he received Friday for his actions during a pair of bench-clearing incidents in last Sunday’s 11-3 loss to Boston.
Brazelton is 0-13 with an 8.19 ERA in 17 career starts on the road. The 13 losses are the most by a pitcher on the road to start his career since Cincinnati’s Kent Peterson dropped his first 18 road decisions from 1947-49.
The 24-year-old right-hander is 0-3 with a 5.60 ERA in three career starts against Baltimore. This will be his second career outing at Camden Yards.