- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 16, 2009

BALTIMORE | Rookie Matt Wieters homered and had a career-high five RBI, Luke Scott also connected and the Baltimore Orioles rallied from a five-run deficit to beat rookie Jeff Niemann and the Tampa Bay Rays 10-5 on Tuesday night.

Brian Roberts and Cesar Izturis had three hits apiece for the Orioles, who trailed 5-0 in the third before scoring six runs in a three-inning stretch against Niemann (12-6).

Niemann, who allowed six runs and a career-high 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings, lost for the first time in nine starts since July 26. It was his shortest start since June 21, and the six earned runs matched a career high, set in his first outing of the season against Baltimore.

Wieters put the Orioles ahead for good with a two-run single in the fifth, Scott hit his team-high 22nd homer in the seventh and Wieters clinched it with a three-run drive off Chad Bradford in the eighth.

Tampa Bay’s Pat Burrell broke out of a 1-for-22 slump with a homer and four RBI, and Ben Zobrist fell a home run short of the cycle. But the Rays lost for the 12th time in 13 games.

Only 11,575 showed up on a beautiful night for baseball.

Jason Berken (5-11) gave up four runs in the first inning and another in the third, but he kept Tampa Bay in check long enough to allow the Orioles to take the lead. The right-hander made it through 6 1/3 innings.

An RBI single by Zobrist and a three-run homer by Burrell staked the Rays to a 4-0 lead in the first. Tampa Bay added a third-inning run when Zobrist tripled with two outs and scored on a single by Burrell.

Baltimore closed to 5-2 in the bottom half. Roberts drove in his career-high 74th run with his franchise-record 52nd double of the season, and Nick Markakis followed with an RBI grounder.

Izturis singled in a run in the fourth, and the Orioles chased Niemann during a three-run fifth that included a run-scoring groundout by Scott and Wieters’ two-run single.

Note - The Orioles will open the 2010 season at Tampa Bay on April 6, with the home opener coming April 9 against Toronto.

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