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Archive for Sunday, May 12, 2002

American League Roundup: Winn wins one for Rays

Tampa Bay stops losing streak at 15

May 12, 2002

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— When the ball left his bat, Randy Winn couldn't be sure that baseball's longest losing streak in 14 years was over.

"I was praying, hoping it would go out," Winn said Saturday night after his two-out, three-run homer in the ninth inning beat Baltimore, 6-4, and ended the Tampa Bay Devil Rays' 15-game skid in startling fashion.

"I honestly haven't hit enough home runs to know whether they're going out or not. I've never hit a game-winning home run. It's different."

The Devil Rays were one out away from becoming the third team to lose 16 in a row in the last 25 years. Their skid was the longest in the majors since 1988 when the Orioles opened the season with an AL-record 21-game losing streak.

"It was nice to get some relief. But for me, it's on to tomorrow," Tampa Bay manager Hal McRae said.

"We're going to try to put something together and show people what we're made of. Everybody knew what we were about when we were losing because we were all over TV and all over the newspapers. This is our moment to show people what we're really made of."

Tampa Bay had not scored a run in the ninth all season before rallying to score four times with two outs against Orioles closer Jorge Julio (2-1).

The Devil Rays trailed 4-2 before Jason Tyner and Chris Gomez started the winning rally with singles. Two outs later, Brent Abernathy singled to drive in his second run of the game.

Winn followed with his third homer of the season, hitting a 2-2 pitch over the center-field fence. The crowd of 10,811 at Tropicana Field kept cheering, and Winn took a curtain call.

"I'm not a home run hitter. For me, they come few and far between," said Winn, who has 13 homers in five big league seasons. "I was just trying to get a hit."

Tony Batista, Mike Bordick, Geronimo Gil and Jay Gibbons drove in one run apiece for the Orioles, who scored three times in the fourth and once in the fifth to build a 4-0 lead against Tanyon Sturtze.

Tampa Bay had been 0-8 on a 10-game homestand that ends today. The Devil Rays' bullpen had blown four ninth-inning leads during its losing streak, including three straight when Tampa Bay was within one out of victory.

"This is exactly the opposite of what's happened to us the whole time. Every game, we're in it and then something like this would happen," Tyner said.

Angels 6, White Sox 3

Anaheim, Calif. Troy Glaus homered during a five-run first inning and Scott Spiezio had three RBIs as Anaheim beat Chicago for its 13th victory in 15 games. Ramon Ortiz (4-3) won his third straight start, allowing three runs and seven hits over seven innings and striking out eight. Ortiz took a two-hit shutout into the sixth before allowing a one-out double to Aaron Rowand and Paul Konerko's fifth home run.

Mariners 3, Red Sox 1

Seattle John Halama pitched 613 shutout innings and Seattle beat Boston for the second straight night. Boston came to Seattle riding a nine-game winning streak but has been outscored 10-3 in two games against the Mariners. Ichiro Suzuki went 3-for-4 to raise his average to .360 and the Mariners took advantage of 11 walks by Boston pitchers. Halama (2-0), making his third start of the season, limited the Red Sox to five hits and a walk, with four strikeouts

Yankees 4, Twins 2

Minneapolis Robin Ventura hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning, leading New York over Minnesota. Bernie Williams had a single, double and triple three of his team's eight hits as the Yankees won their fifth straight game. The crowd of 43,465 was the Twins' largest for a non-opening day since 44,665 showed up for a game last July 22 against Seattle.

Rangers 10, Tigers 6

Arlington, Texas Alex Rodriguez homered twice, including a two-run shot in a seven-run second inning, as Texas handed Detroit its fourth straight defeat. Rodriguez hit a solo homer in the fourth inning that stretched Texas' lead to 8-4 and gave him an AL-leading 12 homers. Texas starter Dave Burba (3-0) trailed 4-0 in the second before the Rangers' offense came to his rescue. Burba allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings, striking out four and walking two. The Rangers improved to 17-19 after a 3-11 start.

Athletics 7, Blue Jays 4

Oakland, Calif. Eric Chavez hit a grand slam, Barry Zito won his 11th straight decision at home and Oakland beat Toronto to snap a four-game losing streak. Raul Mondesi hit an inside-the-park home run for the Blue Jays, who lost their 12th in 16 games. Zito (3-2) struck out 10 in six innings. He allowed two runs on five hits.

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