The bottom of the lineup came through in the series finale as the Orioles avoided being swept by the
for the first time since 1999. Cruz and Gil were both batting under .200 this season but combined to go 4-for-8 with four RBI and a run scored.
Gil had an RBI single in the second inning and helped key a four-run third.
opened the inning with a double and stole third before scoring on a throwing error by catcher
. Tampa Bay starter
issued consecutive walks and hit rookie
to load the bases with two outs.
Cruz followed with a single to plate
for a 5-0 lead. Leon scored on Gil's single to right field for a six-run cushion.
"One thing our pitchers have trouble (with) is getting out of two-out situations," Tampa Bay manager
said. "I think we gave up six runs with two outs. I know we gave up too many runs early, you can't come back every night."
The lead was more than enough for Ponson (2-2), who gave up three runs and seven hits while striking out seven. He threw 72 of 100 pitches for strikes and issued only one walk.
"It was one of those rare days where I had every one of my pitches going," Ponson said. "All four of my pitches were working and I was taking advantage of it. I was happy we got the win and I kept us in the game."
The Aruban righthander retired the first eight batters he faced before allowing a two-out double to
in the third inning. He did not allow a run until he already had a sizeable lead.
"It was nice to score some runs for Sydney especially the way he pitched today," Baltimore manager
said. "Sydney threw the ball well today, especially the first four innings. He is throwing consistent and you can see results."
Kennedy (1-2) surrendered seven runs and 10 hits in six innings as Tampa Bay completed a 4-2 homestand.
"I didn't throw very well. It was a little bit of everything," he said. "Pretty much nothing worked. I didn't catch many breaks. I pitched poorly. When the teams is playing well and everybody is playing well and you do poorly, it's upsetting."
Gary Matthews Jr. doubled off Kennedy with two outs in the first and Conine followed with a single to give the Orioles a lead they never relinquished.
had an RBI single in the fourth inning and Ordonez, who has hit in 15 of his last 18 games, added a run-scoring double in the fifth. He leads all major league shortstops in RBI with 19.
drove in an insurance run for Baltimore with an RBI single in the sixth inning.