Devil Rays 13, Orioles 12

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—As a reward for helping Tampa Bay build a big lead, Julio Lugo was given the rest of the night off.

“When it’s 13-3, you feel like you’re OK,” manager Joe Maddon said.

The Devil Rays almost weren’t, having to hold on for a 13-12 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night.

“I never feel like it’s in your pocket, but I thought with a fresh bullpen everything was lining up,” Maddon explained.

So much for manager’s intuition.

Lugo homered twice during a 10-run fifth inning, helping the Devil Rays build a seven-run cushion that grew to 10 before a leaky bullpen allowed the Orioles to rally for nine runs in the seventh.

“It was a special night. I can say that now because we won,” said Lugo, who hit a pair of two-run homers. “I was holding my breath for a little while.”

Russell Branyan, who also had four RBIs, added a three-run shot in the fifth to help the Devil Rays take a 10-3 lead against Baltimore starter Rodrigo Lopez (6-11). Tampa Bay scored three more in the sixth to make it 13-3.

After pulling within one in the seventh, the Orioles loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth. But right-hander Brian Meadows got Brian Roberts to fly to shallow center and Ramon Hernandez to hit into an inning-ending double play.

Shawn Camp (3-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the win. Meadows, with help from Tampa Bay’s fifth double play of the night, pitched 2 1-3 innings for his sixth save.

“That was spectacular,” Maddon said of Meadows’ performance.

Corey Patterson went 5-for-5 with two RBIs for Baltimore and Miguel Tejada was 4-for-5.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time two teams scored nine or more runs in an inning in the same game was June 3, 1933, when the New York Yankees scored 10 in one inning and the Philadelphia Athletics scored 11.

Tampa Bay’s 10-run fifth lasted 34 minutes, 50 seconds. The Orioles’ seventh went on for just over 35 minutes.

“It was a battle,” Baltimore’s Kevin Millar said. “It was as strange as it could be. Crazy.”

A night after hitting four homers and scoring a season-high 14 runs off Orioles pitching to stop a seven-game losing streak, the Devil Rays started slowly against Lopez, who limited them to a pair of singles over the first four innings.

The Baltimore starter’s night went downhill in a hurry in the fifth. Branyan began Tampa Bay’s big inning with a double off the center-field wall and hit his homer off reliever Kurt Birkins to remain the only position player in the majors with more home runs (11) than singles (9) this season.

Lugo homered during Friday’s win and connected against Lopez to tie this one 3-all. He hit the second off Birkins to make it 10-3.

The Devil Rays sent 14 men to the plate in the inning, with the first seven reaching on hits off Lopez, who allowed seven runs and nine hits in 4 1-3 innings. Rocco Baldelli, Greg Norton and Dioner Navarro had RBI singles in the fifth, while Carl Crawford hit his AL-leading 10th triple and also doubled in the inning.

Lugo became the second Tampa Bay player to homer twice in the same inning. Jared Sandberg did it against the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 11, 2002.

Baltimore used run-scoring singles by Brandon Fahey and Jeff Conine, and Patterson’s RBI double to take a 3-0 lead in the first. However, the Orioles failed to take full advantage of having the first eight batters of the game reach base against Devil Rays starter Tim Corcoran.

Fahey and Tejada were caught stealing in the first, and Corcoran escaped further damage when he struck out Nick Markakis with the bases loaded. The Orioles didn’t score again until the seventh, when Conine had a sacrifice fly and a RBI single.

Melvin Mora had a two-run single in the seventh, and Patterson, Javy Lopez, Markakis, Hernandez and Roberts, who had four hits, all drove in one run apiece in the inning as Baltimore trimmed the big deficit to 13-12.

“We couldn’t get anybody out,” Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said. “Neither team could. It wasn’t very pretty.”

Notes

With his 10th triple, Crawford became the first AL player in over 40 years with double-digit triples and home runs in three consecutive seasons. Minnesota’s Zoilo Versalles did it from 1963-65. … Baltimore C Javy Lopez returned to the lineup after sitting out the previous four games because of lower back pain. … Orioles LHP Erik Bedard, who missed Friday’s scheduled start against the Devil Rays because of food poisoning, is set to pitch Sunday’s series finale.

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