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Updated: Sunday, April 27, 2003 2:12 AM EDT
MLB RECAP
Baltimore Orioles
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
7 12 1
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Team Page | Schedule | Injuries
Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
10 18 0
W Zambrano (1-2)
L Helling (1-2)
S Carter (5)
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TAMPA BAY 10, BALTIMORE 7
 

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- Mike Venafro and Lance Carter brought some sanity to a crazy game.

With the tying runs on first and second in the eighth inning, Venafro came out of the bullpen to strike out Jose Leon and help preserve the Tampa Bay Devil Rays ' wild 10-7 victory over the Baltimore Orioles .

Carter tossed a perfect ninth to earn his fifth save. It was just the third perfect inning of the game by either team.

"We had a three-run lead," Carter said. "I felt it was necessary to throw strikes and finish strong."

Trailing 5-0 early, the Devil Rays scored four times in the second against Orioles starter Rick Helling (1-2). The light-hitting Rey Ordonez highlighted the inning, stroking a two-run double around RBI two-base hits by George Lombard and Marlon Anderson .

Anderson's double extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

Tampa Bay then took the lead in the fourth when Helling threw away a pickoff throw with runners on the corners to allow Ordonez to score before rookie Rocco Baldelli lifted a sacrifice fly.

Matching a career high with four hits, Aubrey Huff followed with his third homer of the season down the right field line to give the Devil Rays a 7-5 lead.

The comeback marked the sixth time this season the Devil Rays have overcome a deficit of at least three runs for a victory.

"We've been coming from behind a lot," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. "Tells a lot about the type of kids we have. It shows what happens when you battle for 27 outs, but you don't want to fall behind 5-0 too often."

Helling allowed 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings and watched his ERA balloon from 4.15 to 5.76.

"I wasn't very good tonight, obviously," Helling said. "Mechanically, I was pulling off the ball and I didn't really make the adjustment. But give their hitters credit, they give pretty good at-bats for a young team."

Tampa Bay added a run in the fifth on an RBI single by Anderson, but Tony Batista led off the sixth with his fifth homer and Brook Fordyce added a sacrifice fly against Nick Bierbrodt to draw the Orioles within 8-7.

Baltimore loaded the bases before Victor Zambrano (1-2) came on to retire Conine, thanks to a sliding catch by center fielder Baldelli.

"I charged in and was thinking dive the whole time," Baldelli said. "Once I got close to the ball, I realized maybe I didn't have to dive or slide like I did, but I was already into my dive mode. Obviously, you can't let the runs get in. A ball like that, you look over at the other outfielders and make a motion like we have to go get it."

The Devil Rays tacked on a run in the bottom of the inning on a sacrifice fly by Terry Shumpert and capped their scoring in the eighth on an RBI single by Baldelli.

The Orioles got off to a fast start when Melvin Mora scored on an infield single by B.J. Surhoff, who was driven in by Jeff Conine 's double in the first inning.

Baltimore got three more runs against Devil Rays starter Steve Parris in the second as Mora belted a two-run homer - his fourth of the season - after an RBI double by Jerry Hairston .

"We were patient," Baltimore manager Mike Hargrove said. "We scored five runs in the first two innings and then hit some balls right at people."

The Orioles lost consecutive games for the first time since April 13-15 and assured themselves of their first series loss since April 8-10, also at Tropicana Field.

Tampa Bay has won four of its last five games and back-to-back series for the first time since September 17-22 against the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees .


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