Series: Game 3 of 3

Tampa Bay won 2-1

Game 1: Tuesday, April 8
in 10
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Game 2: Wednesday, April 9
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Game 3: Thursday, April 10
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Orioles 4

(3-6, 1-2 away)

Devil Rays 3

(4-6, 4-6 home)

    12:15 PM ET, April 10, 2003

    Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida 

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    BAL 000300010 4 5 2
    TB 000120000 3 9 0

    W: S. Ponson (1-1)

    L: J. Colome (0-1)

    S: J. Julio (1)

    Orioles hold on for victory

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- The Baltimore Orioles almost let another one slip away.

    David Segui delivered a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning and Sidney Ponson allowed three runs over seven innings as the Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 4-3 Thursday.

    Segui's two-out single to center off Jesus Colome (0-1) put the Orioles in front after Baltimore had blown a lead of three runs or more for the third straight game.

    "Today was one we felt like we had to win,'' Segui said. "You really don't want to get into a funk early on. It was huge. The first two ballgames we very easily could have won, should have won.''

    Segui fouled off three pitches with a 3-2 count. He is hitting .385 (42-for-109) at Tropicana Field, the second highest average among Tampa Bay opponents.

    "He's effectively wild,'' Segui said of Colome. "He throws really hard and had a lot of late movement. Once he got me two strikes, I wanted to hit the ball hard on the ground. I didn't want to give him the easy out with a strikeout.''

    Brook Fordyce opened the eighth with a bloop single to shallow right that second baseman Marlon Anderson thought he should have caught.

    "I had a beat on it,'' Anderson said. "I should have made the play.''

    Pinch runner Jose Morban advanced to third on Jerry Hairston's sacrifice bunt and a grounder by Gary Matthews Jr.

    The Orioles lost the first two games of the series despite taking commanding leads. They were up 6-0 before losing 8-7 in 10 innings on Tuesday and blew a 4-0 lead in Wednesday's 10-7 defeat.

    "I think it's really important,'' Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said. "You like to see good work rewarded. That's what builds confidence. We worked for that game.''

    Jay Gibbons put the Orioles up 3-0 with a three-run homer off Steve Parris in the fourth. Matthews and Segui opened the inning with walks and after Jeff Conine flied out, Gibbons hit his second of the season. He is 5-for-8 with three homers against Parris, who gave up three runs and three hits over seven innings.

    "Nine bad pitches,'' Parris said. "If I don't walk those two guys before I give up the homer, it's a solo homer. That teaches you a lesson not to walk guys.''

    Tampa's Al Martin made it 3-1 with an RBI double in the bottom half of the inning.

    Rookie Rocco Baldelli extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a run-scoring single during a two-run Tampa Bay fifth that tied the game. Baldelli went to third when Ponson was charged with an error for an errant pickoff throw and then scored on a wild pitch.

    "I'm not going to lie, I was pretty (mad) when those two runs scored,'' Ponson said. "I came up here (into the clubhouse) and shouted and screamed. I went back to the dugout with a clear mind and that helped me out.''

    Ponson gave up eight hits and struck out five. Buddy Groom pitched a scoreless eighth and Jorge Julio got three outs for his first save in three opportunities.

    The Devil Rays went 4-6 on a season-opening 10-game homestand. All the wins were come from behind efforts.

    "I don't care about the record,'' Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella said. "We played hard and that's the most important thing. You play well enough, the record takes care of itself.''

    Game notes

    Tampa Bay signed LHP John Rocker to a minor league contract. He will join the team's extended spring training program on Saturday. ... The time of the game was 2 hours, 17 minutes. ... Devil Rays CF Carl Crawford singled in the first and has a career-high 10-game hitting streak. ... Gibbons has a hit in eight of nine games. ... Ponson is 4-6 in 16 games against the Devil Rays. ... Tampa Bay plays 28 of its next 40 games on the road.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press