Orioles 6, Devil Rays 5

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—Melvin Mora was looking for a good pitch to hit and he got it.

Mora hit a go-ahead two-run homer during a three-run ninth inning to lift the Baltimore Orioles over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6-5 on Thursday night.

“That’s a good sign for a team to battle late in the game like that,” Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said. “That’s a big win for us. It’s a real positive for this ballclub to be able to do things like that and get us going again.”

Brian Roberts cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 5-4 with a sacrifice fly, and Mora’s two-out drive off closer Dan Miceli (0-1) gave Baltimore the lead. All four of Mora’s homers this season have come against the Devil Rays.

“I was just waiting for that,” Mora said of a first-pitch cutter.

Ty Wigginton homered for the third consecutive game and Travis Lee, Tomas Perez and Jonny Gomes also had solo shots for the Devil Rays, who have 16 homers in 10 games this season.

Baltimore starter Bruce Chen gave up five runs and five hits in 7 2-3 innings. He allowed a career-high four homers.

“We won, so obviously I feel very good,” Chen said.

Chris Ray (1-0) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win as the Orioles won three of four in the series.

“A big difference, to finish off with a win like that,” Perlozzo said. “There was more emotion in the dugout the last two innings than I’ve seen the entire game.”

Devil Rays right-hander Doug Waechter allowed one run and six hits in six-plus innings. He retired 15 of his last 18 batters after Ramon Hernandez doubled leading off the second.

Tampa Bay reliever Scott Dunn retired all three batters he faced when Waechter was pulled after giving up a leadoff single to Hernandez in the seventh.

Shawn Camp allowed eighth-inning RBI singles to Miguel Tejada and Hernandez as the Orioles pulled within one. Miceli, who blew his first save in four opportunities, struck out Kevin Millar with two on and two outs in the eighth.

“I got out of a jam in the eighth,” Miceli said. “I got a little wild in the ninth and I just got beat.”

Tejada drove in a run with a groundout in the first but Wigginton’s solo homer tied it at 1 in the second inning.

Lee gave Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead with his fourth homer of the season in the fourth. He didn’t hit his fourth home run last season until the Devil Rays’ 110th game.

Perez made it 3-1 in the fifth, hitting his first home run since Aug. 30, 2004.

Gomes’ shot put Tampa Bay ahead by three runs in the sixth. He had a tiebreaking grand slam in the eighth inning of the Devil Rays’ 7-4 win over the Orioles on Wednesday night.

“When it happens for you, you’re very happy,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. “When it happens against you, you’re not quite so happy.”

The Devil Rays took a 5-3 lead in the eighth when Gomes had an RBI single off reliever Jim Brower.

Notes

Miceli has allowed a homer in three of his five appearances. … Waechter appeared to get hit on the foot by Jay Gibbons’ grounder in the first. … Tampa Bay 2B Jorge Cantu (bruised left foot) was in the lineup for the first time since last Friday. … Orioles LF David Newhan (sore finger) and DH Javy Lopez (sore thumb and forearm) started after not playing Wednesday. … Tejada had two hits for his fifth multihit game this season. … Baltimore went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position during the first two innings. … Gibbons singled in the eighth and has a nine-game hitting streak.

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