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Updated: Wednesday, August 13, 2003 12:26 AM EDT
MLB RECAP
Baltimore Orioles
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
2 3 0
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
4 9 0
W Bell (3-2)
L Lopez (5-7)
S Carter (20)
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TAMPA BAY 4, BALTIMORE 2
 

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- Rob Bell 's experience kept him in the Tampa Bay Devil Rays ' rotation. On Tuesday night, he repaid manager Lou Piniella 's loyalty.

Bell took a one-hitter into the eighth and Damian Rolls delivered a two-run double in the sixth inning as the Devil Rays posted a 4-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles .

In seven-plus innings, Bell (3-2) yielded two runs and only two hits, walked four and struck out two to earn his first win since July 21. The 26-year-old righthander had not earned a decision in his prior three outings, but is 3-0 since an 8-5 loss to the New York Yankees on June 25.

"Rob pitched very well," Piniella said. "Anytime you give up two runs in seven innings (it) is not bad. He pitched well with his fastball and pitched well with his changeup tonight. And, he threw just enough breaking balls."

Piniella kept handing Bell the ball despite some shaky starts early in the season.

"He's got a little more experience than the rest of the kids here," the manager said. "You don't want to load up your rotation with your young kids. The last two times, he's really solidified his position."

Bell did not allow a hit between Brian Roberts ' infield single to open the game and the eight inning. The only other runners he permitted in between were two walks issued to B.J. Surhoff in the first and fourth innings, and a walk to Brook Fordyce in the fifth.

In the top of the eighth, Bell walked Deivi Cruz to lead off the inning and served up Larry Bigbie 's third homer home run of the season.

"They drove the ball to the wall a couple of times, it made me panic a little," Bell said. "The one I didn't think was going out was the last one. From a pitching standpoint, with our team, you try to keep us in the game until we can unleash our offense."

After Jesus Colome tossed a scoreless eighth inning, Lance Carter notched his 20th save with a perfect ninth.

Carl Crawford and rookie Rocco Baldelli each had RBI singles for the Devil Rays , who improved to 6-3 on their 10-game homestand.

Baltimore starter Rodrigo Lopez (5-7) failed to extend his winning streak to three games after giving up three runs and eight hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked one.

"I thought I threw a good game," Lopez said. "I made a mistake on a few pitches, that was the game. I had good stuff, just off on a couple of locations. They scored at the right time."

Bigbie belted a two-run homer in the eighth but Baltimore lost for the third time in its last four games.

"Other than bit when we gave up (the runs), I thought we played well," Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said. "I thought we played well. We hit the ball hard, they just made the plays. We just didn't score. It's to win with one or two hits going into the eighth."


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