- The Washington Times - Monday, May 13, 2002

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Devil Rays hope it's the beginning of something good.
John Flaherty and Jared Sandberg hit RBI doubles during a three-run fourth-inning as the Devil Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-3 for their second straight win yesterday.
Tampa Bay ended a franchise-record 15-game losing streak Saturday by scoring four runs in the ninth inning to beat the Orioles 6-4.
"A good start to winning baseball games," Devil Rays manager Hal McRae said. "It seems like it's coming together. We need to build momentum. The only way to build momentum is to win."
The Devil Rays have won consecutive games for the first time since winning three in a row April 21-24. The losing skid began when the three-game winning streak was snapped April 25.
"It obviously doesn't change the fact that we had two bad weeks in a row, but at the same time we can learn from it and maybe it won't happen again," Tampa Bay second baseman Brent Abernathy said. "Maybe we'll keep finding ways to win now. We're starting to get some breaks and taking advantage of some of the breaks."
Paul Wilson (2-3) allowed three runs one earned and nine hits over seven innings to end a personal three-game losing streak. Esteban Yan got the final three outs for his fifth save.
The RBI doubles by Flaherty and Sandberg, along with Abernathy's run-scoring single, put the Devil Rays up 5-3 in the fourth.
Flaherty, one of the veteran players Tampa Bay would like to trade, has four doubles in the past two games. The backup catcher also added a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
"Right now when I get in there, I'm trying to showcase what I can do for this club to hopefully get a win, and there's always people watching," said Flaherty, who started consecutive games for the first time this season.
"You hate to play once a week, have a bad game and get blown out. The last two days for me have been gratifying just for the fact that we've won."
Sandberg snapped an 0-for-15 slump.
The Orioles scored three times in the first. Jay Gibbons and Tony Batista had run-scoring singles, and Marty Cordova added an RBI groundout.
Tampa Bay got one run back in the bottom of the inning on Steve Cox's double. A second-inning RBI single by Felix Escalona made it 3-2.
Baltimore went 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
"Obviously we wanted to keep them down, but they showed tremendous character," Baltimore second baseman Jerry Hairston said. "They're a major league baseball team, and they're definitely due. It showed character on their part to come back last night, and they played great today."
Tampa Bay right fielder Randy Winn threw out Brook Fordyce at the plate on Chris Singleton's fourth-inning single to keep the Devil Rays within a run. It was his AL-leading sixth outfield assist.
Winn hit a game-winning three-run homer with two outs in the ninth of the Devil Rays' win Saturday. In that game, the Orioles blew a 4-0, fifth-inning lead.
"Randy, getting that hit last night, took some pressure off us," Flaherty said. "You could feel it today."
Baltimore starter Sidney Ponson (2-3) gave up five runs and nine hits in 6⅔ innings. He struck out eight.
"This game can turn around in a hurry," Ponson said. "They might win the next 20 games in a row, who knows? You have to go out there and make your pitches. I looked like I was throwing batting practice out there today."
Notes
Singleton went 4-for-5 and had his average climb 27 points to .209. Gibbons went 5-for-11 with a homer and three RBI in the series. Abernathy went 8-for-13 in the series. The eight hits tied a team-record for the most in a three-game series. The Devil Rays are 32-32 all-time against the Orioles. The teams have split 34 games at Tropicana Field.


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