Final

Series: Game 2 of 3

Tampa Bay leads 2-0 (as of 8/12)

Game 1: Monday, August 11
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Tampa Bay4
Game 2: Tuesday, August 12
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Tampa Bay4
Game 3: Wednesday, August 13
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in 10
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Orioles 2

(57-61, 26-34 away)

Devil Rays 4

(47-71, 28-34 home)

    7:15 PM ET, August 12, 2003

    Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida 

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    W: R. Bell (3-2)

    L: R. Lopez (5-7)

    S: L. Carter (20)

    Bell helps Rays improve to 15-11 after break

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Rob Bell may have found a home in the Tampa Bay rotation.

    Bell took a one-hitter into the eighth and Damian Rolls hit a two-run double as the Devil Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-2 Tuesday night.

    "It really gets down to focusing on pitching and executing pitches for me," Bell said. "Be the pitcher I want to be. Go out and be aggressive."

    Carl Crawford and Rocco Baldelli added run-scoring singles for the Devil Rays, who are 15-11 since the All-Star break.

    Tampa Bay is 20-16 since July 3, tying the best 36-game stretch in team history.

    Bell (3-2) shut out the Orioles through seven innings. After Deivi Cruz walked to start the eighth, Larry Bigbie ended the right-hander's night with an opposite-field homer.

    "Anytime you give up two runs in seven innings, not bad," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. "He's got a little more experience than the rest of the kids here. He's shown he can pitch good ballgames."

    Bell struck out two and walked four. He is 3-0 with five no-decisions since June 25.

    Jesus Colome and Lance Carter completed the three-hitter. Carter worked the ninth for his 20th save in 26 opportunities, becoming the 15th rookie to record 20 saves.

    Baltimore starter Rodrigo Lopez (5-7) gave up three runs and eight hits over six innings. He is 0-5 with a 7.71 ERA over seven starts on the road.

    "I thought I threw a good game," Lopez said. "I made a mistake on a few pitches. That was the game."

    Crawford put the Devil Rays up 1-0 with an RBI single in the third. Rolls made it 3-0 with his double in the sixth.

    Baldelli's seventh-inning single off Buddy Groom extended the Tampa Bay lead to 4-0.

    Brian Roberts started the game with a line drive that struck Bell on the upper back for a single. Shortstop Julio Lugo picked up the loose ball, but had no play.

    "All I kept telling myself -- that's only the leadoff hitter," Bell said. "Now it's good or bad from there."

    Roberts went to second with one out when B.J. Surhoff walked, but Bell worked out of the jam by retiring Jay Gibbons and Tony Batista on fly balls.

    "I like to get through the first, get my feet on the ground, and I feel like everything feels right from there," Bell said. "You're able to calm down a little bit and you're able to settle into the game."

    Gibbons went 0-for-4, snapping a career-high 15-game hitting streak.

    Bell walked batters in the fourth and fifth, but neither reached second.

    The Devil Rays had runners on second and third with one out in fourth, but Lopez kept the Orioles within one by striking out Marlon Anderson and Toby Hall.

    Bell benefited from some strong Tampa Bay defense.

    Baldelli ran down Bigbie's drive against the center field wall in the fifth. Two innings later, second baseman Anderson dove to his left to catch a sharp grounder by Jack Cust, then threw out the Baltimore designated hitter at first.

    "Sometimes you have to tip your hat to the other team," Baltimore manager Mike Hargrove said. "We hit the ball hard. They just made the plays."

    Game notes


    Baltimore activated Surhoff (strained left quadriceps) from the 15-day disabled list before the game. Surhoff, who started at first base, had been out since July 24. ... To make room for Surhoff, RHP Travis Driskill was optioned to Triple-A Ottawa. ... Tampa Bay leads the all-time series with Baltimore 46-44. ... Devil Rays DH Aubrey Huff doubled in the sixth to extend his hitting streak to nine games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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