tampabay.com

Par for course, then kaboom

Rays tame Camden with 11-run eighth.

By EDUARDO A. ENCINA
Published August 29, 2007


BALTIMORE - The Orioles were just six outs from sending the Devil Rays to their 10th straight loss at Camden Yards on Tuesday night.

Easy enough of a task with a three-run lead, right? The Rays know otherwise. And then again, this is the same roughshod pitching staff that yielded 30 runs to the Rangers less than a week ago.

And Tuesday, it was the Rays' turn. Tampa Bay exploded for 11 runs in the eighth inning, tying a franchise record, sending 15 batters to the plate in a 15-8 win over the Orioles.

"That's the first time I've ever seen anything like it," Rays centerfielder B.J Upton said. "We just wanted to put a couple runs up that inning."

The Rays (52-80) set a season high for runs and won their fourth game in their past five because they were able to string together nine base hits - all but one singles - and draw three pivotal walks instead of relying on home runs to score.

"It was nice to do that tonight," manager Joe Maddon said. "There were a lot of singles that scored runs that inning, which I really liked. Those are the kind of things we need to do better to really become better run producers. Just better situational hitting.

"You score runs on singles with good at-bats. We don't have to reach for the fences. That was the most interesting part of that inning."

To add to the oddity of the night, Tampa Bay won despite the fact that its pitchers allowed a season-high six homers, including back-to-back shots - twice.

The Rays have allowed 10 homers in the past two games, including four Monday afternoon in Chicago, setting a club record.

But the Rays earned their first win at Camden Yards in nearly 15 months and handed the Orioles their seventh straight defeat thanks to a run carousel that had those remaining of the 17,781 booing every ball, and they offered a small workout for recently renewed manager Dave Trembley, who made three mid-inning pitching changes.

"When you bring in four pitchers in one inning, you know you're in trouble," Trembley said.

Nine consecutive batters reached, one shy of a club record. Ten came to the plate between the first out of the inning and the second. Upton had two hits in the inning and Brendan Harris and Jonny Gomes each scored twice.

It was the most runs the Orioles have allowed in an inning since the Kennedy administration. They allowed 11 to the Senators on May 11, 1962.

"It just shows the potential of all our hitters," Gomes said. "We're never out of it and we're taking at-bats one by one. Regardless of the score, we're trying to put runners on. We had guys going from first to third and scoring from first. There was a lot more going on our side besides just hits."

Orioles reliever James Hoey opened the inning but lasted just six batters and left with a tie score after issuing a bases-loaded walk to Dioner Navarro and yielding a two-run single to pinch-hitter Greg Norton. He retired one batter.

It obviously didn't end there. Brian Burres faced the three hitters atop the lineup - Akinori Iwamura, Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena - and all reached, capped by Pena's two-run single to right. Chad Bradford didn't fare much better, allowing three singles and a double in five batters.

Before that inning, the Rays trailed 6-3 and managed just four hits, two after the first. Starter Jason Hammel allowed three homers in six innings.



Rays' eighth by the numbers

1 Extra-base hit(Jonny Gomes'two-run double)

2 Hits by B.J. Upton,tying a club record

3 Pitchingchanges

3 Walks issuedby the Orioles

10 Batters between the first and second outs

15 Batters sentto the plate

45 Years since theOrioles allowed 11runs in an inning (May 11, 1962, vs. Senators)

38:49 Time elapsed for Rays' half of the inning. The full inning lasted 1:01:46.

Rays 15

Orioles 8



.fast facts

This goes to 11

Down 6-3 to the Orioles, the Devil Rays tied a franchise mark with 11 runs in the eighth inning. The blow by blow:

Jim Hoey pitching

-B.J. Upton singles to center.

-Delmon Young strikes out swinging.

-Brendan Harris singles to left, Upton to second.

-Jonny Gomes walks, Upton to third, Harris to second.

-Dioner Navarro walks, Upton scores, Harris to third, Gomes to second. Orioles 6, Rays 4

Greg Norton hits for Josh Wilson

-Norton singles to right, Harris and Gomes score, Navarro to second.Orioles 6, Rays 6

Brian Burres relieves Hoey

-Akinori Iwamura walks, Navarro to third, Norton to second.

-Carl Crawford singles to right, Navarro scores, Norton to third, Iwamura to second.Rays 7, Orioles 6

Joel Guzman runs for Norton

-Carlos Pena singles to right, Guzman and Iwamura score, Crawford to third. Rays 9, Orioles 6

Chad Bradford relieves Burres

-Upton singles to center, Crawford scores, Pena to second.Rays 10, Orioles 6

-Young singles to left-center, Pena to third, Upton to second.

-Harris reaches on fielder's choice to third, Pena scores, Upton out at third, Young to second.Rays 11, Orioles 6

-Gomes doubles to left, Young and Harris score. Rays 13, Orioles 6

-Navarro singles to right, Gomes scores.Rays 14, Orioles 6

Kurt Birkins relieves Bradford

-Guzman strikes out swinging.

Compiled by Alan Rittner, Times staff writer