Millar provides boost with 3-run HR as O's sweep Rays

• Hero: Kevin Millar, who homered to deep left field to put the O's up 5-0 in the first inning. Millar is 4-for-17 lifetime against Casey Fossum, but three of the hits are homers.

• Did you see that? Third baseman Ty Wigginton was ejected in the fifth by umpire Jim Hoye for adamantly arguing a call.

• Figure this: The Devil Rays' four-game skid matches a season high. It's the first time the Rays have been swept in a three-game series.

• Quotable: "My legs are bad. If I had a bicycle, I would have gotten there in time," -- Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon on trying to get on the field before Hoye tossed Wigginton.

-- ESPN.com news services

Orioles 11, Devil Rays 6

BALTIMORE (AP) -- A successful homestand, a three-game sweep and a rousing offensive showing gave the Baltimore Orioles reason for optimism heading to Fenway Park.

Kevin Millar homered and drove in four runs, Corey Patterson had three hits and three RBIs, and Baltimore beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 11-6 Thursday night for a three-game sweep.

The Orioles set a season high for runs and moved into second place in the AL East with their fifth win in seven games, all at home following a 1-9 skid.

"It was a big sweep against a team like that," Millar said. "We're playing good baseball and starting to swing the bats as a group."

Millar might have had six RBIs if not for an outstanding catch by Tampa Bay center fielder Rocco Baldelli, who reached over the 7-foot wall in center to steal a two-run homer.

"I thought I hit the second one better than the first one, but Baldelli took that one away," Millar said.

Next up for Baltimore: A three-game series against the first-place Red Sox, who are 23-10 and 2-0 against the Orioles this season.

"We're certainly going in there feeling good about ourselves," Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said.

"We need to come in there and make a point and try to take a series," said Millar, who helped Boston win the 2004 World Series. "It would be nice to go in there and play well."

Baltimore tuned up by outscoring the Devil Rays 20-9 over three games. It was the Orioles' third three-game sweep of the season; they had only two last year.

Daniel Cabrera (3-3) allowed six runs and eight hits in six innings but improved to 4-0 against Tampa Bay in eight career starts.

Elijah Dukes and B.J. Upton homered for the Devil Rays, who got within a run before losing their fourth straight. Tampa Bay has dropped five consecutive series to the Orioles and 11 of the last 13 games between the teams.

Devil Rays third baseman Ty Wigginton was ejected in the fifth inning by umpire Jim Hoye, who called Melvin Mora safe at the bag on a close play.

"I was just saying I blocked the bag. He told me to back off," Wigginton said. "I walked away. I didn't even know I was ejected."

Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon tried to get on the field before Hoye tossed Wigginton, but arrived too late.

"My legs are bad. If I had a bicycle, I would have gotten there in time," Maddon said.

As Wigginton walked off the field, he tossed his cap into the stands -- and a fan threw it back.

Casey Fossum (2-3) gave up nine hits in 5 2-3 innings, but only five of the eight runs he allowed were earned.

Baltimore went up 5-0 in the first. Miguel Tejada doubled in a run and Aubrey Huff hit an RBI single before Millar hit a three-run drive to left. Tampa Bay has been outscored 36-4 in the first inning this season.

"It was that first inning stuff. It's hard to put yourself in that position and then have to fight back," Maddon said.

The Devil Rays got four hits in the second, including an RBI single by Carlos Pena and a run-scoring double by Brendan Harris.

After Jay Gibbons and Patterson singled leading off the Baltimore fourth, Wigginton let a grounder skid through his legs, allowing two runs to score.

Tampa Bay closed to 7-6 with a four-run fifth. Harris singled and Cabrera hit Baldelli with a pitch before Dukes homered to left. Three batters later, Upton hit a solo shot.

The bottom of the inning featured Baldelli's catch and Wigginton's ejection. After Mora singled, Baldelli robbed Millar.

Mora then stole second and continued to third on an errant throw by catcher Dioner Navarro. Mora slipped under the tag, according to Hoye. Patterson followed with a broken-bat RBI single.

In the Baltimore eighth, Millar hit an RBI single and Patterson added a two-run double.

Game notes
The Devil Rays claimed INF Josh Wilson off waivers from the Washington Nationals and optioned Ben Zobrist to Triple-A Durham. "I'm actually really glad about that because there are some things I need to work out," said Zobrist, who's batting .214. ... Millar is 4-for-17 lifetime against Fossum, but three of the hits are homers. ... Rays reliever Shawn Camp left with tightness in his left hamstring. The injury was not believed to be serious.