A 6-6 righthander, McClung had not pitched since coming out of the bullpen against the Orioles on Sunday, when he yielded just one hit in 4 2/3 scoreless innings - the longest outing by a
reliever this season.
In this one, the 22-year-old gave up three hits, struck out three and walked four as Tampa Bay won for the fourth time in five games.
"I wanted to go seven innings," McClung said. "They said 75 pitches. Heck, I've been known not to get out of the third inning with that. I focused all day on not getting overhyped."
"(McClung) threw outstanding," said Hall, the
catcher. "He did a good job hitting his spots and made really good pitches. He might have earned another start, I don't know, I'm not the manager. But he threw pretty well."
McClung was aided by his defense. He walked
to lead off the fifth, but left fielder
made a diving catch on
's line drive and doubled off Gibbons at first base.
"The young kid in left made as good a play as you're going to see,"
said. "And we got just enough offense. We will continue to tweak things until we get the right combinations."
After Baltimore's B.J. Surhoff singled and
walked to start the seventh, McClung was replaced by lefthander
and was given a generous ovation by the crowd at Tropicana Field.
"That was right up there with any feeling I've ever had," McClung said. "I wanted to look up, but I was so mad at myself (for walking Conine). I just want to say thank you for all the fans that clapped. I've been booed that loud but never cheered."
"I wasn't going to let him lose the ballgame, as well as he pitched," Piniella said.
Venafro hit Gibbons to load the bases and promptly was relieved by righthander
. After Harper allowed Surhoff to score on a wild pitch to make it 2-1, veteran shortstop
fielded a grounder and nailed Conine at the plate.
Harper intentionally walked
to load the bases but got
to ground into an inning-ending double play.
"What you did see was that we had Tony and Deivi up, two guys that usually hit the ball in the air most of the time," Orioles interim manager
said. "They hit the ball on the ground. We should be able to score some runs. You have to be able to score runs to win."
Baltimore's bench coach, Perlozzo has filled in for
since Sunday, when the manager returned to Texas to visit his hospitalized mother. Hargrove is expected to return Saturday.
McClung has limited the Orioles to one run in 12 2/3 innings in three appearances this season.
With a runner at second and one out in the bottom of the first, Baldelli singled to put the
in front for good. One out later, Hall doubled home
for a 2-0 advantage.
Baldelli went 2-for-4, giving him 35 hits in 23 games.
"When things seem to go well, I try not to overanalyze," he said. "So you just take it while you can and ride it out as long as you can."
The Orioles were unable to take advantage of a second straight solid outing by starter
(1-3) and had a two-game winning streak snapped.
The lefthander allowed two hits and scattered eight hits in six innings, striking out three and walking three while falling to 0-2 in three road starts this season.
On Sunday at Camden Yards, Daal yielded a run and five hits in seven innings to defeat Tampa Bay.
"I got the ball up some in this first inning," he said. "I gave up two runs coming into the game, but after that, I was OK. I tried to keep the score like that and see if we could come back. Their pitcher threw a good game."