Series: Game 3 of 3

Tampa Bay won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, April 25
Tampa Bay2
Game 2: Saturday, April 26
Tampa Bay10
Game 3: Sunday, April 27
Tampa Bay4

Orioles 7

(12-12, 5-6 away)

Devil Rays 4

(10-15, 8-8 home)

    1:15 PM ET, April 27, 2003

    Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida 

    123456789 R H E
    BAL 114001000 7 11 0
    TB 000110101 4 9 2

    W: S. Ponson (2-2)

    L: J. Kennedy (1-2)

    Os' Ponson to be honored in Aruba on Tuesday

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Sidney Ponson got more than a victory. He also found out he would receive a high honor from the Queen of the Netherlands.

    Sidney Ponson

    Ponson allowed three runs over 6 2/3 innings to lead the Baltimore Orioles over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 7-4 Sunday.

    The right-hander will be returning home to Aruba to become a Knight in the Order of the Dutch Royal House on Tuesday. Aruba is a dependency of the Netherlands.

    "It's an honor,'' Ponson said. "I'm looking forward to it Tuesday.''

    Ponson (2-2) gave up seven hits, struck out seven and walked one. He also won at Tampa Bay on April 10, giving up three runs in seven innings of a 4-3 victory.

    "It's one of those rare moments that a starting pitcher has everything working,'' Ponson said. "They beat us the last two games. It's important for us to get this win, have a good off day and go get them on Tuesday.''

    Deivi Cruz and Geronimo Gil had two RBI each for Baltimore, which has won eight of 12.

    Rey Ordonez hit a run-scoring double, giving him a team-high 19 RBI, as the Devil Rays came up short in their bid to sweep a series for the first time since taking three games from Detroit to open the 2002 season.

    Tampa Bay did win four times during a six-game homestand.

    "I've seen a lot of good things,'' Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. "We'll take a 4-2 homestand anytime and we won't complain about it.''

    Jeff Conine put Baltimore up 1-0 with a run-scoring single in the first, and Gil hit an RBI single in the second.

    Melvin Mora doubled, stole third and scored on catcher Toby Hall's throwing error to start a four-run third. Cruz hit a two-run single and Gil's RBI single made it 6-0.

    Baltimore blew a 5-0 second-inning lead in Saturday's 10-7 loss. It was the sixth time -- all at home -- that Tampa Bay won after trailing by three or more runs.

    "It was nice to go out and score some runs for Sidney the way he pitched and held the Devil Rays in check,'' Orioles manager Mike

    Hargrove said. "They've got some guys that swing the bat.''

    Al Martin had an RBI single in the fourth for the Devil Rays, and Ordonez's fifth-inning double made it 6-2.

    Baltimore went up 7-2 on Jerry Hairston's sixth-inning RBI single. Chris Truby had an RBI double in the seventh and a run-scoring single in the ninth.

    Ponson retired his first eight batters, including five on strikeouts.

    "Sidney threw real well, especially his first three or four innings,'' Hargrove said. "He struck out some people with nice breaking balls.''

    Devil Rays starter Joe Kennedy (1-2) gave up seven runs and 10 hits over six innings.

    "I didn't pitch very well,'' Kennedy said. "Pretty much nothing worked. When the team is playing well and you do poorly, it's upsetting.''

    Tampa Bay's Rocco Baldelli went 1-for-4 and has 38 hits. He is tied with Boston's Nomar Garciaparra (1997) for the second-most hits by a rookie in April since 1961, behind only Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki, who had 39 in 2001.

    Game notes

    Two other players from Aruba with major league experience, Eugene Kingsale and Calvin Maduro, will also be knighted. ... Tampa Bay placed LHP Bobby Seay on the 15-day disabled list with left shoulder tendinitis. ... Baldelli has a hit in 23 of 24 games and has a 10-game hitting streak. ... Conine is 5-for-8 against Kennedy. He stole second base in the third inning standing up. ... Orioles 3B Tony Batista went 1-for-3 and has three hits in his past 25 at-bats. ... Kennedy threw 33 pitches in the third inning. ... Baltimore is 43-42 all-time against Tampa Bay. ... Ponson threw 71 of 99 pitches for strikes.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press