Orioles 5, Devil Rays 2
BALTIMORE (AP)—Sam Perlozzo settled into the plush chair in the manager’s office and smiled. He tried valiantly to sway the conversation toward his baseball team, yet there was no masking the pleasure he derived from his first victory at Camden Yards.
Eric Byrnes homered for the Orioles, now 3-2 under Perlozzo, who took over as interim manager after Lee Mazzilli was fired on Aug. 4.
“It is a special moment for me to be here,” Perlozzo said. “This is the Baltimore Orioles. You’re right behind the desk here and the team went out there and played like they did. I can’t be more happy about that.”
Perlozzo didn’t get a game ball, and until someone suggested that he keep the lineup card, the thought hadn’t crossed his mind. No problem, because he intends to get many more wins over the next two months in his bid to remove the “interim” tag from his title in 2006.
“Sooner or later, we’ve got to get by me and get with the ball club,” Perlozzo said. “I didn’t do anything tonight. They did.”
With the score 2-all, Chris Gomez led off the seventh with a single off Scott Kazmir (6-8). After a sacrifice bunt, Chad Orvella came in and walked Byrnes before Melvin Mora, Miguel Tejada and Javy Lopez hit RBI singles.
That made a winner out of Bedard (6-4), 0-3 in four starts since ending a two-month stint on the disabled list July 18. The left-hander gave up two runs, five hits and four walks.
“I don’t remember my last win. It feels good,” Bedard said. “I worked hard to get back—unfortunately it took pretty long—but I kept it going and turned things around.”
It was only the fourth win in 20 games for the Orioles, who got 12 hits—11 of them singles.
Toby Hall drove in both runs for Tampa Bay, which managed only three hits after the second inning.
“I think the story tonight was their pitching and our lack of mounting too much offensively,” Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella said. “We had a day off yesterday, a long trip in from the Coast. We didn’t get on the field today because of the weather, so hopefully tomorrow we’ll get some work in before the game and we’ll swing the bats.”
Kazmir allowed three runs, eight hits and four walks in losing for the first time in five starts since July 8.
“It took time to find my release point and everything. I don’t think I threw one slider for a strike,” he said. “Hitters notice that.”
Down 2-0, the Orioles pulled even in the fifth, when Brian Roberts hit a leadoff single and Byrnes homered on a 2-1 pitch.
“Byrnes’ hit was a big one,” Perlozzo said. “That’s a tremendous lift for the ball club at the particular point in the game.”
Byrnes has at least one hit in all 10 games since joining the Orioles in a July 29 trade with Colorado. He went 1-for-3 with two walks.
Tampa Bay went up 2-0 in the second when Hall singled in two runs after a single and two walks loaded the bases.
The Orioles, meanwhile, stranded two runners in each of the first three innings. In the fourth, Baltimore hitting coach Terry Crowley was ejected by home plate umpire Bill Hohn for arguing a third-strike call on Chris Gomez.
Hohn also ejected Devil Rays first baseman Eduardo Perez with one out in the ninth for arguing a called third strike.
“Bill’s a good umpire,” Piniella said, “but he had a rough night tonight.”
The Orioles put RHP Sidney Ponson (calf) and OF B.J. Surhoff (groin) on the 15-day disabled list, part of a series of moves involving six players. Newcomer Alejando Freire, in his major league debut, went 0-for-4 as the DH, the only Baltimore starter to go hitless. … Mora snapped a 2-for-28 skid with a fifth-inning single. … Tampa Bay has allowed the most homers in the AL (136).