BALTIMORE (AP) – Jay Gibbons’ second career grand slam capped a five-run first inning, and the Baltimore Orioles clinched their first series win since the All-Star break by beating the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 9-5 Wednesday night.

Miguel Tejada drove in three runs for the Orioles, who improved to 4-2 under interim manager Sam Perlozzo.

Rodrigo Lopez (11-6) came within one out of a complete game. He allowed nine hits, struck out three, walked two and improved to 4-1 in his last six starts.

After Toby Hall’s RBI double in the ninth, Jorge Julio got the final out.

By winning the first two games of the three-game set, Baltimore is assured of capturing only its second series since taking two of three from Colorado from June 17-19. The Orioles’ last series win came July 7-10, against Boston.

Aubrey Huff and Jonny Gomes homered for the Devil Rays, now 0-5 in Baltimore this season.

The Orioles took control in the first inning against Casey Fossum (6-9). Brian Roberts hit a leadoff single and Eric Byrnes walked before Tejada hit an RBI single. After Javy Lopez was walked intentionally to load the bases, Sammy Sosa fouled out.

Gibbons then hit a 1-1 pitch over the 25-foot scoreboard in right field. It was his 17th home run of the season and his first with the bases full since June 13, 2003, against Milwaukee.

Melvin Mora made it 6-0 with an RBI single in the second.

Rodrigo Lopez retired his first 10 batters before running into trouble in the fourth. After Julio Lugo drew a one-out walk and Carl Crawford doubled, Jorge Cantu was retired on a fly ball. Rodrigo Lopez then went to 3-0 on Huff, who hit his 16th homer on the next pitch.

Baltimore pulled away with a three-run fifth. Tejada hit a two-run double and Javy Lopez followed with an RBI single to chase Fossum, who came in 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA in four career games at Camden Yards.

Fossum allowed nine runs and seven hits in four-plus innings, his worst outing of the season. But he ended a run of 10 straight starts in which he hit at least one batter with a pitch.

Gomes homered in the seventh to make it 9-4. His 14 homers is a Tampa Bay rookie record.

Notes: Byrnes singled in the fifth, giving him a hit in all 11 games since being traded from Colorado on July 29. … Fossum’s ERA rose from 3.89 to 4.47. … Baltimore’s Alejandro Freire got his first major league hit, a double, in the eighth.

AP-ES-08-10-05 2147EDT


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