Because of Bergesen's performance, however, it was the RBI double that Davis allowed to Vladimir Guerrero in the first that proved to be the difference.

Showalter wasn't sure whether that was the best he had seen Bergesen pitch, but said, "considering the circumstances and a team on top of their game like Tampa is, a lot of things pointed to it being a challenge today. And it was really impressive."

The afternoon didn't start smoothly for Bergesen, but he got key outs when he needed them. The biggest may have been in the first, when he allowed a one-out double and then a single before inducing Evan Longoria into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.

"It was huge. It happened in the first inning but that was probably the biggest most crucial play in the entire game," Bergesen said. "We go out and we score the run and my job is I got to go out there and put up a zero and stop them right there just to keep the momentum in our favor."

He allowed a one-out double in the second, but retired the next two batters. In the third, he gave up a one-out single to Sam Fuld, who stole second and third. Fuld's steal of second was aided by Fox's double-clutch throw. He should have been out at third, but Reynolds dropped the ball on the tag.

Bergesen wiggled out of that jam, too, by getting Johnny Damon to ground out. He didn't allow a hit for the remainder of the game, retiring 19 of his final 22 batters.

It was the Orioles' first complete-game shutout since Chris Waters had one on Sept. 18, 2008 against the Toronto Blue Jays. Coupled with Jeremy Guthrie's eight-inning performance Friday, it was the Orioles first back-to-back complete games since Sidney Ponson and Rodrigo Lopez in 2003.

"It's a great feeling," Bergesen said. "I am sure the ball will be on the way to mom's house here pretty soon."

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

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