It started early for the Orioles, and the offensive firepower spread to the Devil Rays last night, as the teams combined for 17 runs. Those runs were not scored with small ball, either, as Orioles DH Kevin Millar and Devil Rays second baseman B.J. Upton traded 370-foot home runs to left field. Five of the Orioles' 11 runs came in the first inning, which featured Millar's three-run home run. Holding on to a slim lead late, the Orioles added three runs in the eighth inning to finish their third series sweep of the season.
Though the offensive production was a positive sign for both teams, the starting pitching was less encouraging. Tampa Bay's Casey Fossum gave up eight runs (five earned) on nine hits, the victim of bad hops and his own struggles. Orioles starter Daniel Cabrera went six innings to get the win, but the lead didn't seem safe for most of his time on the mound. Cabrera surrendered two home runs in the fifth inning, which allowed the Devil Rays to cut the score to 7-6. But the Orioles hung on with the offense clicking.
Devil Rays third baseman Ty Wigginton went 0-for-3 and committed a two-run error when a grounder went through his legs. But that wasn't the worst part. In the fifth inning, Melvin Mora stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error. After umpire James Hoye called Mora safe at third, Wigginton immediately started arguing and was ejected. On his way to the dugout, Wigginton finished his night by furiously tossing his cap into the stands.
The Orioles begin a nine-game road trip tonight at Fenway Park against the Red Sox with Brian Burres making his second career start. Burres (0-1, 3.71) allowed five earned runs in 3 2/3 innings in his first start against the Indians and has never pitched more than four innings in his major league career. Julian Tavarez (1-3, 6.48) is set to start for Boston. In his last outing, Tavarez suffered the loss despite giving up only two runs in six innings.