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D'Rays Hold Off Orioles, 10-9

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays don't have an answer for their mastery over the Baltimore Orioles, nor are they seeking one.

"Some years, some teams just have another's number," closer Roberto Hernandez said after earning his 31st save in a 10-9 victory Monday night.

"I have no idea why," the All-Star reliever added. "You can ask the same question: 'Why do we stink against the Yankees.' I have no idea why."

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Game Summary

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  • Paul Sorrento homered for the second straight game and Tampa Bay barely held on when Terrell Lowery made a running catch in center field with the tying run at second base in the ninth.

    The Devil Rays beat the Orioles for the sixth straight time since a 10-7 loss on opening day. Their two-year record of 13-6 against Baltimore is the club's best versus any opponent.

    Orioles manager Ray Miller had a simple explanation for the disparity.

    "They score too many runs," he said.

    In seven games between the clubs this season, the Devil Rays have 51.

    "They have some guys on that team that swing the bat well a lot of guys," Baltimore's Brady Anderson said. "You've got to give their offense credit."

    Sorrento hit his ninth homer in the fifth inning, a two-run shot to right off Jason Johnson (3-6), who allowed nine runs and 12 hits in four innings in his first start against his former team.

    Bobby Smith, starting at third base with Wade Boggs taking the night off, had a pair of RBI singles for the Devil Rays. Tony Graffanino also drove in two runs with a double.

    Rookie Ryan Rupe (6-6) gave up five runs and five hits in five innings. Hernandez, the sixth Tampa Bay pitcher, worked the ninth for his third save in the Devil Rays' last four games.

    He allowed an RBI groundout to Anderson before getting Mike Bordick to fly out with the tying run on second.

    Harold Baines, who has six RBIs in his last two games, hit a two-run homer his 23rd off Rupe in the sixth. Bordick had a two-run triple for the Orioles before scoring on B.J. Surhoff's single in the third.

    Baltimore, trailing 10-5, scored three runs against the Tampa Bay bullpen on Jeff Conine's sacrifice fly in the seventh and Anderson's RBI single and Surhoff's sacrifice fly in the eighth.

    The Orioles wasted an opportunity to possibly pull the game out when Esteban Yan struck out Conine with the bases loaded to end the eighth.

    The victory was the fourth in five games for Tampa Bay, which took two of three during a weekend in which Boggs also got his 3,000th hit against the Cleveland Indians.

    Thanks, in part, to their success against the Orioles, the last-place Devil Rays are 20-16 in the AL East. Outside their division, they are 27-49.

    Baltimore, which is 8-26 in the AL East, has lost 10 of 14 games.


  • Boggs was named co-AL player of the week, sharing the honor with Oakland's Miguel Tejada. He will donate the jersey, batting gloves, shoes and cap he wore for his 3,000th hit to the Hall of Fame. The Devil Rays will add manager Larry Rothschild's lineup card, a ticket stub and commemorative card.
  • Sorrento's homer gave Tampa Bay 111 this season, equaling their total from all of last year when the Devil Rays had the fewest in baseball
  • Six straight Devil Rays reached base in the second and again in the fifth
  • The Orioles have been outscored 90-45 in the second inning
  • Surhoff snapped an 0-for-12 slump with his RBI single in the third
  • Anderson stole two bases, making him 26 of 30.
  • The attendance was 17,796, down from the 35,729 the Devil Rays averaged against Cleveland with Boggs chasing his 3,000th hit.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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