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Wigginton helps Devil Rays snap nine-game losing streak

Sep 20, 2006 - 1:59 PM ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- Ty Wigginton has delivered more than his share of clutch home runs this season. The latest one helped the Tampa Bay Devil Rays snap a season-high nine-game losing streak.

Wigginton's two-run homer off Rodrigo Lopez in the eighth inning lifted the Devil Rays to a 4-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles in the finale of a three-game series.

It was the 21st home run of the season for Wigginton - 15 of which have either tied the game or given Tampa Bay the lead. His previous season high was 17 home runs for the New York Mets and Pittsburgh in 2004.

"I was looking for a pitch up in the zone I could drive," Wigginton said. "That's the time of the ballgame you want to be up there and fortunately I came through. I want to be up in those situations. Anyone who plays this game can't be afraid of failure."

Wigginton also singled in the seventh inning and scored on a single by Rocco Baldelli, giving the Devil Rays a 2-1 lead.

Baltimore tied the game in the eighth inning when Corey Patterson doubled and scored on a two-out single by Chris Gomez. Patterson earlier tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly by David Newhan in the third inning.

"Corey is just starting to get back ... he'd been out for a couple of weeks and it looks to me like he's just now starting to get confident back in there," Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said. "He gives us speed and he gives us power and good defense. Anyone who doesn't want that is (crazy)."

The Devil Rays went in front for good off Rodrigo Lopez (9-17), who leads the majors in losses. Lopez walked Greg Norton with one out before Wigginton hit an opposite-field homer over the right field wall for his 15th homer at Tropicana Field.

Seth McClung (6-12) pitched 1 1/3 hitless innings for the win.

Carl Crawford hit his 18th home run of the season - a solo shot in the fourth inning - off Orioles starter Hayden Penn. Penn pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and five hits while striking out three.

"We played pretty good today," Perlozzo said. "We just couldn't get anything across. Hayden gave us a lot more than we expected. We just couldn't punch any runs across."

Tampa Bay starter Jae Seo went 7 2/3 innings, scattering seven hits and allowing two earned runs. Seo has allowed two earned runs or less in seven of eight starts since August 3, but is winless during that stretch.

"He pitched well enough to win another game," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "He's the kind of guy that whenever he pitches you feel you have a chance to win."

"If my team wins, I'm fine," Seo said. "My wins don't matter."

Tampa Bay snapped a six-game losing streak against Baltimore, which captured the season series, 13-6.






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