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Rays chip away at O's, rally to another victory

4/10/2003

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Devil Rays are becoming the comeback kids.

Rocco Baldelli hit a tiebreaking RBI triple in the seventh inning as the Devil Rays came from behind for the second straight game to beat the Baltimore Orioles 10-7 Wednesday night.

Tampa Bay trailed by four runs in the second inning and three in the fifth, but Baldelli's triple off Willis Roberts (0-1) gave the Devil Rays an 8-7 lead. Aubrey Huff followed with a run-scoring single against B.J Ryan, and Carl Crawford added an RBI single in the eighth.

"It seems every night it's somebody else doing the job,'' Huff said. "It's a good feeling knowing that there's no pressure on any one guy. It feels like this year, it doesn't matter how many runs these guys score, we have the will to come back and know we can do it.''

Marlon Anderson hit a three-run homer and matched a career high
with four RBI for Tampa Bay. Huff knocked in three runs.

The Devil Rays fell behind 6-0 in the second inning Tuesday
before coming back for an 8-7, 10-inning win over Baltimore. Tampa
Bay has trailed in all four of its wins.

"We're playing with some real nice intensity,'' manager Lou Piniella said. "It's nice to see the ballclub going out there and playing hard every night.''

Tony Batista hit a pair of two-run homers for the Orioles. He has 10 career multihomer games.

"If we score seven runs with our pitching staff, we should
win,'' Baltimore manager Mike Hargrove said. "The strength of our
club coming out of spring training, we felt, was our pitching
staff. We still feel that way.''

Al Levine (1-0), called up from Triple-A Durham before the game,
worked 2 2-3 scoreless innings for the win. The right-hander hadn't
faced live hitters in about three weeks and was originally
scheduled to throw in a simulated game.

"This is a lot better than that,'' Levine said.

Lance Carter got three straight outs for his first save.

Jay Gibbons' RBI single and Batista's second homer of the game
put the Orioles ahead 7-4 in the fifth.

Tampa Bay tied it in the bottom half when Baldelli had an RBI
single and Huff hit a two-run double.

Batista hit a two-run shot during the Orioles' four-run second
that made it 4-0. Gary Matthews Jr. drove in two with a ground-rule
double.

Tampa Bay pulled to 4-3 in the bottom half on Anderson's
three-run homer. Anderson tied it 4-all with a sacrifice fly in the
fourth.

"After you give up a couple, you want to build something
positive in that next half-inning,'' Anderson said. "We were able
to do it. Right now, we're playing baseball and trying to win
however we can. It's working out for us.''

Devil Rays starter Nick Bierbrodt allowed seven runs -- five
earned -- and nine hits over 4 1/3 innings in his second start since
being shot in the right arm and chest last June 7 while with
Class-A Charleston. He was a passenger in a car at a restaurant
drive-thru when it happened.

In two starts, Bierbrodt has given up 14 runs -- 12 earned -- and
17 hits over 8 1-3 innings.

Baltimore starter Rick Helling went five innings, allowing seven
runs and seven hits.

Matthews, who entered in a 1-for-14 slide, was not in the
starting lineup. He replaced designated hitter David Segui, who was
ejected in the first inning.

Segui was tossed for arguing after being called out by first
base umpire Joe West on an appeal of a check swing on a 2-2 pitch.

Segui took a couple steps up the first base line as he yelled at
West. After being thrown out, he jogged toward West and was
restrained by first base coach Rick Dempsey.

"That was my fault,'' Segui said. "I pushed it too hard.''

Game notes
Devil Rays starters have given up 44 earned runs in 42 1/3
innings. ... Tampa Bay placed LHP Jim Parque on the 15-day disabled
list with tendinitis in his left shoulder. ... Anderson's previous
homer came last Aug. 25. ... Baldelli has a hit in all nine games
of his rookie season. ... The Devil Rays have 20 infield hits,
including two Wednesday.