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Another left-hander smothers Baltimore

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Mark Hendrickson's start was pushed
back two days because of a stiff neck. It turned out to be the
right move.

Hendrickson pitched a four-hitter for his second career complete
game, Carl Crawford hit a two-run triple during a five-run sixth
inning and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-2
Sunday.

Hendrickson (7-7) struck out six and walked one in Tampa Bay's
first complete game since Victor Zambrano beat Oakland 11-2 on
Sept. 7, 2003. The former NBA player retired his first 12 batters
before Javy Lopez opened the fifth with a ground-rule double to
right.

"I was looking at the fact that maybe the stiff neck would be a
blessing," Hendrickson said. "A couple extra days might have been
beneficial."

Hendrickson's other complete game was a rain-shortened,
seven-inning shutout last July 21 at Yankee Stadium for Toronto.

"A stellar performance," Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella said.
"A complete game, nice and strong. He's quietly having a real nice
season."

Long stretches without complete games is nothing new for Tampa
Bay, which set a major league record of 194 straight games without
one from 2001-02.

"Toward the end, I just wanted to finish it," Hendrickson
said.

Crawford made it 7-2 with his triple off Mike DeJean. Jorge
Cantu, Toby Hall and Joey Gathright hit consecutive RBI singles off
Eddy Rodriguez earlier in the sixth, snapping the Devil Rays'
0-for-21 slide with runners in scoring position.

"That was a thing of beauty," Piniella said.

The Devil Rays scored just 19 runs in losing six of their seven
previous games.

"We've been getting into scoring position, but we just haven't
been getting the hits," Crawford said. "Today we got the hits. It
felt great to be able to drive in runs."

Tampa Bay was 5-for-38 with runners in scoring position in
splitting the four-game series. The Orioles were 2-of-25.

Melvin Mora homered for Baltimore in his return from the 15-day
disabled list. He had been out since straining his right hamstring
July 2.

The Orioles (39-50) are 9-21 when the opponent starts a
left-hander. Baltimore has been limited to six or fewer hits 12
times since June 1.

"We've been hitting extra," Baltimore manager Lee Mazzilli
said. "You've got to do it in the game. We've got to take what we
do and work on and we've got to implement it into the game."

Dave Borkowski (1-1) allowed four runs and six hits over
five-plus innings in his second start and third appearance of the
season. He was brought up from Triple-A Ottawa on July 5.

"I didn't feel great all the way around," Borkowski said.
"I'd throw a couple good pitches and then things would go
everywhere. Any momentum we had going, I killed it by going out
there and giving up another run."

Borkowski had elbow ligament replacement surgery in November
2001. He won his previous start, giving up two runs in 8 1-3
innings of an 8-2 win over the Devil Rays on July 5. It was his
first major league victory since Sept. 26, 1999.

The Devil Rays went up 1-0 in the first. Jose Cruz Jr. tripled
and scored on Aubrey Huff's grounder.

Jerry Hairston Jr. tied it at 1 when he drove in Lopez with a
sacrifice fly in the fifth.

Cruz put the Devil Rays ahead 2-1 with a two-out double in the
bottom of the inning.

Mora homered to pull the Orioles even at 2 in the sixth.

Game notes
Hendrickson struggled in his previous outing, allowing five
runs and eight hits in three innings of last Sunday's 10-3 loss to
the Yankees. ... Baltimore INF Jose Leon was optioned to Triple-A
Ottawa to make room on the roster for Mora. ... Cantu singled in
the second for his first career hit. He flied out as a pinch-hitter
in his major league debut Saturday. ... Hairston took an extra-base
hit away from Cruz in the third, when he made a fully extended
leaping catch just in front of the right-field warning track.