Bartlett, Aybar lift Rays to win

Big ninth turns tide for Tampa

May 14, 2009 

— Willie Aybar hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the sixth inning and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-6 Wednesday night.

Jason Bartlett matched a career high with his fifth homer of the season for the Rays, who scored four times in the ninth off Bob McCrory and held on after the Orioles rallied in the bottom half. Bartlett and B.J. Upton finished with three hits each and Dioner Navarro had two RBIs.

Jeff Niemann (3-3) struggled through five innings, but picked up his third victory in four decisions. The right-hander allowed two runs and eight hits.

The Rays sent closer Troy Percival to the mound in the bottom of the ninth after they scored four times in the top half to take an 8-2 lead.

Cesar Izturis led off with a double and scored on Brian Roberts' fifth homer. Felix Pie followed with his second home run to cut the deficit to 8-5.

Percival departed after yielding a one-out double to Aubrey Huff, and Melvin Mora greeted J.P. Howell with an RBI single. Powell then retired Lou Montanez and Ty Wigginton to record his first save.

Wigginton finished with three hits, including a homer, for Baltimore.

The Rays chased Brad Bergesen (1-1) with a two-run sixth.

Carlos Pena led off with a double and scored on Aybar's single to right. Tampa Bay then loaded the bases before Navarro's sacrifice fly made it 4-2.

Bergesen gave up four runs and nine hits in 52/3 innings.

Bartlett tied it at 1-1 in the third with his fifth homer in 33 games this season. He had five home runs in 140 games for Minnesota in 2007.

Notes: Baltimore's Adam Jones left with a mild right hamstring strain after hitting an RBI single in the fourth inning and was replaced by pinch-runner Pie, who took over in center.

Pie was supposed to have been unavailable following a bout with food poisoning that caused him to depart Tuesday's game after three innings.

Plate umpire Tom Hallion was struck in the right hand by Bergesen's wild pitch in the third. He was attended to by an Orioles trainer but remained in the game after a brief delay.

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