Gomes, Crawford help Rays top O's, snap six-game skid

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Jonny Gomes and Carl Crawford gave the Tampa Bay Devil Rays reason to enjoy their flight home after a difficult road trip.

Gomes homered, Crawford hit a two-run triple and scored twice and the Devil Rays ended a six-game losing streak by defeating the Baltimore Orioles 8-6 on Thursday night.

Ty Wigginton had two hits and two RBI for the Devil Rays, who averted a three-game sweep and salvaged the finale of a 2-8 swing through Toronto, Boston and Baltimore.

"It's a nice thing to get on a plane and travel home with a win," first-year manager Joe Maddon said.

The Devil Rays had lost their previous four games by a total of six runs.

"We finally won one of them," Maddon said. "You've got to evaluate things for what they are and not blow things out of proportion in a negative way. When you are doing a lot of good things, you've just got to finish -- and we finally finished one tonight."

Kevin Millar homered for the Orioles, who were denied their season-high fourth straight win.

After rain delayed the game for 1 hour, 32 minutes, the Devil Rays jumped on Baltimore starter Erik Bedard (5-5) for three runs in the third inning to take a 5-3 lead. Bedard retired the first
two batters before Crawford doubled and Gomes walked. Aubrey Huff followed with an RBI single and Wigginton singled in two runs.

Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said Bedard stayed active during the delay, instead blaming the left-hander's struggle on poor location.

"He came out throwing the ball really well. He got two quick outs," Perlozzo said. "Then he had a couple of guys on the ropes and made bad pitches. He left them out over the plate."

Tampa Bay starter Scott Kazmir allowed three runs, two hits and three walks in two innings. After play resumed, Maddon called upon Travis Harper to pitch the bottom of the third.

"We did not want to put Kaz back out there after that long a delay," Maddon said. "I just did not want to take that chance. At the time, I didn't think it was appropriate, so we went the other way."

Harper (2-0) gave up one run and two hits in three innings. He was followed by Ruddy Lugo before Tyler Walker got the final two outs.

"To win, we had to use our whole bullpen," Gomes said. "Just to sneak out a win right now, we had to use the whole lineup card. But a win's a win."

The Devil Rays made it 7-3 in the fourth against John Halama. With two outs and two on, Crawford hit a liner off the left-field wall and circled the bases while Jeff Conine struggled to get a grip on the wet ball. Conine finally got the ball to shortstop Miguel Tejada, who threw out Crawford on a close play at the plate.

Crawford hurt his left knee, but remained in the game for another inning. He was replaced after the knee stiffened.

"Strained knee, stiffness, no structural damage," Maddon reported. "Day-to-day. If doesn't play tomorrow, he will play Saturday."

Millar homered in the bottom half, and Toby Hall hit an RBI single in the fifth to make it 8-4.

In the Baltimore ninth, Conine tripled and Millar hit a sacrifice fly to chase Lugo. Corey Patterson then drew a walk and scored on a double by Luis Matos before Brian Roberts and Melvin Mora grounded out.

"We battled back. It's just that the game got out of hand early for us and we couldn't reach it," Perlozzo said.

Before the rain delay, the Orioles took a 3-2 lead after two innings.

Gomes hit his 15th homer with a man on in the first, but Baltimore got a run back in the bottom half when Roberts walked, stole two bases and scored on a groundout by Tejada.

Patterson and Roberts hit RBI singles in the second before Kazmir struck out Mora as the rain and lightning intensified.

Game notes
Tampa Bay's six-game skid was a season high. ... Roberts' two steals were his first in eight games since returning from the disabled list with a strained groin. He's 11-for-11 this season. ... Halama's appearance means rookie Adam Loewen should get his first major-league start Saturday against the New York Yankees. ...
Tampa Bay shortstop Julio Lugo was 0-for-13 in the series before hitting a single in the ninth.