Sunday, April 13, 2008

Markakis Homers in Loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- Baltimore starter Brian Burres went from hitless to helpless in one inning on Sunday, when Tampa Bay battered him for a six-run, fifth-inning rally and a 6-2 win. Burres took a no-hitter into the fifth, but gave up a leadoff walk, four singles and a three-run home run to B.J. Upton before the Orioles went to their bullpen.

Strangely enough, Burres gave off no warning signs before his deluge. The southpaw walked two batters in the first inning, but worked out of trouble and held the Rays to just one more baserunner through the fourth. That changed in the fifth, though, when he walked rookie Evan Longoria and then allowed Tampa Bay to load the bases on two singles.

Burres (1-1) managed to get an out on a short fly ball, but second baseman Akinori Iwamura followed with a run-scoring single. Left fielder Carl Crawford then added a two-run hit, and Upton keyed the rout by swatting a three-run shot over the left-field fence. That gave Tampa Bay (6-6) a six-run lead, and Baltimore (7-5) never got closer than a four-run deficit.

Tampa Bay got a strong pitching performance from rookie Jeff Niemann, who escaped a first-inning jam en route to the win. Baltimore loaded the bases with one out in the first, but Niemann (1-0) induced a popup and a long flyout to end the threat. The Orioles didn't get a runner into scoring position again until the fifth, and didn't score until Nick Markakis' solo homer in the sixth.


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