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Andy Sonnanstine

Hardy, Orioles slam Rays, 9-3

The conventional wisdom explaining the Orioles' sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays in the season-opening series at Tropicana Field was that the defending American League East champs were caught at the right time, when they were dealing with key injuries and an unsettled bullpen.

That theory was easy to buy after the Rays came to Baltimore last weekend and swept the Orioles, setting up what was supposed to be more dominance by the first-place Rays this weekend.

But something funny happened on the way to the Trop this time around. The Orioles' starting pitching performed impressively and the beleaguered offense delivered key hits as the Orioles won two of three, including Sunday's...