Orioles 5, Devil Rays 4
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—David Newhan is making the most of his opportunity.
Newhan finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs and Larry Bigbie homered for the Orioles, who won for the second time in six games.
“I always had confidence in myself, but in this game you’ve got to prove yourself every night,” Newhan said. “Tonight was a good one. We won, I had some success, but tomorrow’s going to be a new day and I’ve just got to keep doing it.”
Newhan, hitting .433, was released by the Texas Rangers last month while playing for their Triple-A Oklahoma team.
“This kid, since the day we got him, has been swinging the bat,” Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said. “He’s done a wonderful job.”
Daniel Cabrera (7-3) gave up three runs and five hits in six innings, sending the Devil Rays to their fifth straight loss.
Julio has blown two saves against Tampa Bay this season.
Huff homered for the Devil Rays, who had lost four straight to New York at Yankee Stadium heading into the All-Star break.
Harper gave up two runs and two hits in 1 2-3 innings.
Bobby Seay came in and Newhan hit an 0-1 pitch to right field scoring both runners with his third triple of the season. Newhan has a hit in 23 of 24 games, including all 23 starts since signing with Baltimore June 18.
Cabrera, who struck out six and walked five, had his start moved up a day when Erik Bedard, the scheduled starter, had his flight from Canada grounded Wednesday by inclement weather.
“I didn’t have my best stuff,” Cabrera said. “I feel good because we won.”
Victor Zambrano lasted just 4 1-3 innings, allowing two runs and four hits. He walked six—giving him a major league-leading 90 walks—and started the game with six straight balls. He also had a throwing error on a potential double play grounder later in the first that lead to an unearned run.
Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella was clearly frustrated by Zambrano’s continuing control problems.
“Sooner or later, just take the bull by the horns, get aggressive, throw the ball in the strike zone and take your chances,” Piniella said.
Rafael Palmeiro put the Orioles up 1-0 with an RBI grounder in the first.
Tampa Bay went ahead 2-1 in the bottom half on Huff’s two-run homer.
Carl Crawford extended Tampa Bay’s lead to 3-1 with an RBI triple in the second. He also hit his 11th triple in the seventh—a single-season team record.
The Devil Rays had a chance to blow open the game when they loaded the bases with two outs in the third, but Cabrera retired Rey Sanchez on a grounder.
Baltimore scored just once after loading the bases with no outs in the fourth on Jose Leon’s one-out sacrifice fly.
Bigbie tied it at 3 with a solo homer off Trever Miller in the sixth.
After Newhan gave Baltimore a two-run lead in the seventh, Rocco Baldelli drove in Crawford in the bottom of the inning to cut Tampa Bay’s deficit to 5-4.
Bedard joined the Orioles on Thursday afternoon and will pitch Friday. … Tampa Bay LHP John Halama will replace LHP Mark Hendrickson (stiff neck) as Friday’s starter. … Devil Rays DH Fred McGriff, who has 493 homers, went 0-for-3 and hasn’t homered since June 17. McGriff’s roster spot might be in jeopardy when Tampa Bay begins calling up prospects from the minors. … Tejada is hitless in 12 at-bats, including 0-for-2 Thursday, against Zambrano. … A teenage fan was taken to an area hospital after being hit in the mouth area by a line foul hit by Baltimore RF Jerry Hairston in the fourth. A Devil Rays official said the fan was expected to be examined and released.