Lopez goes 7 innings

Cruz homers

Orioles 4, Devil Rays 2

Baseball

March 22, 2003|By Roch Kubatko

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Rodrigo Lopez became the first Orioles pitcher to go seven innings yesterday, and shortstop Deivi Cruz hit a decisive two-run homer in a 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Lopez gave up two runs and six hits, and left with the score tied. Cruz homered with two outs in the seventh after Marty Cordova singled. Neither team scored until the fifth, when the Devil Rays' Jason Conti homered with one out. Geronimo Gil and B.J. Surhoff hit homers in the sixth off Gerardo Garcia to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead. Tampa Bay tied it in the seventh on a groundout after Jared Sandberg led off with a single and Gil committed catcher's interference.

Who's hot

Rodrigo Lopez: So closely resembles an ace, he should count as one or 11 at blackjack.

Deivi Cruz: OK, let's end the controversy right now: It's pronounced "Davey."

Geronimo Gil: Hit his first spring home run. Strangely, was still charged with a passed ball.

B.J. Surhoff: His first home run also represented his first extra-base hit, and broke an 0-for-11 slump. Trading him in 2000 would look pretty stupid if the Orioles hadn't gotten Trenidad Hubbard in return.

Who's not

Intrigue junkies: Melvin Mora replaced Gary Matthews after two innings, but anyone assuming an injury was jumping to conclusions. Matthews played all 12 innings on Thursday and was scheduled to depart after one at-bat yesterday.

Mixed review

Tony Batista: Criticized for his all-or-nothing approach at the plate, he's hitting .448 after singling twice. But he also was thrown out at second on a ball that dropped inside the left-field line. You've heard of Charlie Hustle. Meet Charlie Horse.

Injury report

Pitcher Omar Daal has been receiving treatment for inflammation in his left shoulder. Manager Mike Hargrove said the condition has improved and it's nothing serious.

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