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Rays hand Bedard ball versus Orioles

(SportsNetwork.com) - Veteran lefty Erik Bedard gets a start against the team with which he made his big-league name on Tuesday, when the Tampa Bay Rays host the Baltimore Orioles in game two of a three-game series at Tropicana Field.

Bedard, a native of Canada, was a sixth-round pick of the Orioles in 1999 and reached the majors with Baltimore in 2002 before returning as a full-timer with 26 starts in 2004.

He pitched with the Orioles through the end of 2007 and recorded 40 of the 70 wins he's earned as a big-leaguer. He started 2008 with Seattle and has since worked in Boston, Pittsburgh, Houston and Tampa Bay in 122 outings.

Bedard's faced the Orioles six times and is 1-1 with a 5.54 earned run average in 26 innings.

He'll be opposed by Baltimore's Miguel Gonzalez, who'll return from a rehab stint in the minors after missing big-league time with a strained oblique muscle.

He tossed 4 1/3 scoreless innings for Double-A Bowie on Wednesday while striking out five batters and walking one.

Gonzalez has not pitched in the big leagues since May 30, when he pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed five hits and two runs in a 2-1 loss to Houston.

In nine career starts against the Rays, he's 3-3 with a 3.55 ERA in 50 2/3 innings.

On Monday, Jerry Sands smacked a go-ahead, pinch-hit two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the Rays to a 5-4 win over the Orioles in the opener.

Evan Longoria worked a leadoff walk against Darren O'Day (2-1) before O'Day struck out Ben Zobrist and induced a fly out off the bat of James Loney. Brian Matusz then came on and Sands, who replaced David DeJesus, belted a towering shot that curled around the left-field foul pole to give the Rays a 5-3 lead.

Juan Carlos Oviedo allowed a solo homer to Delmon Young with one out in the ninth, but recorded the final two outs without conceding another hit to pick up his first save of the season. Ryan Hanigan cracked a two-run blast and Yunel Escobar added a solo shot for the Rays, who have won four of their last five.

Adam Jones hit a two-run homer for Baltimore, which has dropped three of its last four.

06/17 10:55:27 ET

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