The Orioles hope that Erik Bedard, who is making his second start since coming off the disabled list, can end their skid.
On Monday, in his first start since May 21, Bedard allowed four hits in six shutout innings and struck out seven in a 3-2 win over the Twins. The left-hander, who went on the disabled list on May 22 with a sprained left knee, has allowed just two runs over his last 20 innings and has an ERA of just 1.89.
“It’s been a long time, pretty much two months, so to get back in the game and help the team get a win is a plus,” said Bedard.
The Orioles, who are in third place in the AL East and three games behind first-place Boston, have dropped 16 of their last 24, including a 3-2 defeat on Saturday. The offense continued to struggle. Baltimore has scored just 19 runs in its last seven games.
“Sometimes you’re going to win, sometimes you’re going to lose. But there’s nothing wrong with this team,” Sammy Sosa said. “Good pitchers can stop good hitters. It doesn’t matter what team you play. If a guy is pitching a great game, what can you do?”
The Devil Rays, meanwhile, continue to play well against their division rivals. Tampa Bay is 6-3 in a 13 straight game-stretch against AL East foes that began after the All-Star break.
In Saturday’s win, Scott Kazmir allowed one run and four hits, struck out seven and walked three. Joe Borowski pitched the eighth, and All-Star closer Danys Baez allowed Miguel Tejada’s 21st homer in the ninth before striking out Sosa and pinch-hitter Rafael Palmeiro to earn his 19th save in 25 opportunities.