Play it again -- Orioles 9, Devil Rays 7

April 17, 2007|By JEFF ZREBIEC

Comeback city

The Orioles faced deficits of 6-0 after the fourth inning and 7-1 after the fifth. The 9-7 victory was their biggest comeback since May 17, 2005, when they dug out of an 8-2 hole after two innings to beat Kansas City, 12-8. Last night, the Orioles cut their deficit to four on Freddie Bynum's two-run, sixth-inning homer and then to two on Melvin Mora's two-run seventh-inning homer. Jay Gibbons tied it with a two-run double later that inning and Bynum gave the Orioles the lead with an RBI groundout.

Circus in town

In the third inning, the Orioles looked as if they were playing under a circus tent rather than a white dome. B.J. Upton's routine grounder to first base started a wacky sequence in which the Orioles made three errors on one play, the first team to do that since the 1998 Houston Astros. First baseman Aubrey Huff made two errors, bobbling the grounder and then throwing it away, and catcher Paul Bako made the third with an errant throw to nobody in particular, allowing a run to score.

Huff's ups, downs

Huff made another defensive error in the third that cost the Orioles another run. Throw in the fact that he stranded four base runners in his first two at-bats and it started as a brutal homecoming for Huff, who played in the Tampa Bay organization for more than eight seasons. But Huff got some redemption and silenced the boos with a seventh-inning double and a ninth-inning homer, his first as an Oriole.

On deck

In the second game of the series, the Orioles will send veteran right-hander Steve Trachsel against Tampa Bay left-hander Casey Fossum. Trachsel, who is 0-0 with a 2.63 ERA in two starts this season, is 0-2 against the Devil Rays with a 4.15 ERA in two career starts. Fossum (0-1, 7.59) is 5-4 with a 4.60 ERA in 15 career games against the Orioles.

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