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New O's starter quiets Bosox

By Associated Press
Published June 1, 2004

BOSTON - Rodrigo Lopez proved he can pitch as a reliever, and now he's showing he can start, too.

The Baltimore right-hander had his best game since his promotion, and the Orioles pounded out 16 hits to beat the Red Sox 13-4 on Monday. Baltimore, which leads the league with a .287 batting average but is sixth in runs, had at least 13 hits for the sixth consecutive game.

"To shut down a team like Boston, you are doing something," Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said. "This Red Sox team is explosive."

The Orioles won their fourth in a row since losing seven straight. B.J. Surhoff had four hits, including a 310-foot homer. Melvin Mora had four RBIs and three hits, including a homer, and Brian Roberts three hits, including a bases-clearing double in the seven-run sixth that broke the game open.

"It makes you feel more comfortable on the mound," Lopez said after his third start since moving into the rotation May 20. "Knowing that they're going to score runs, it makes you more relaxed."

Lopez gave up one run, four hits and two walks, striking out seven in 51/3 innings. He had allowed 11 runs in 92/3 innings in his previous two outings after posting a league-best 0.33 ERA as a reliever.

"All the time I was in the bullpen, I was feeling pretty comfortable. But I like to start," he said. "We all thought it would be better for the team."

Derek Lowe allowed seven runs, eight hits and four walks in five-plus innings, failing to strike out a batter and losing for the fourth time in his past five decisions. With his thumb bleeding from a cut, he was pulled after allowing the first five batters to reach in the sixth.

"I wish I could say it (the cut) affected me more than it did," he said. "I'm at a loss for words. It's been a two-month stretch where I've put myself in a lot of bad situations as far as baserunners. When that many guys get on base ... it snowballs."

MARINERS 6, BLUE JAYS 2: Ichiro Suzuki had three hits to give him 50 in May, leading host Seattle. Suzuki became the first player since Pete Rose to have two months with 50-plus hits in his career. He had 51 in August 2001. Rose had 52 in July 1973 and 51 in September 1979.

TIGERS 8, ROYALS 4: Eric Munson and Carlos Guillen hit two homers each, the first multihomer games of their careers, to lead Detroit. Omar Infante also homered for the Tigers, who had their first five-homer game at Comerica Park. Guillen's second homer came on a line drive that skipped past centerfielder Carlos Beltran and became the third inside-the-park homer in the ballpark's five-year history.

[Last modified June 1, 2004, 01:36:06]


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