BOSTON (AP) -- 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. It was the sixth consecutive game that Baltimore,
which leads the AL with a .287 batting average, had at least 13
"To shut down a team like Boston, you are doing something,"
Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said. "This Red Sox team is
The Orioles won their fourth consecutive game since losing seven
in a row. B.J. Surhoff had four hits, including a 310-foot homer.
Melvin Mora had four RBI and three hits, including a homer, and
Brian Roberts three hits, including a bases-clearing double in the
seven-run sixth inning that broke open the game.
"It makes you feel more comfortable on the mound," said Lopez,
making his third start since moving into the rotation on May 20.
"Knowing that they're going to score runs, it makes you more
Lopez (4-2) gave up one run, four hits and two walks, striking
out seven in 5 1-3 innings. He had allowed 11 runs in 9 2-3 innings
in his previous two outings after posting a league-leading 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 (4-5) 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 last five decisions. With his thumb bleeding
from a cut, he was pulled after allowing the first five batters to
reach safely 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."
Boston dropped into second place in the AL East, percentage
points behind the New York Yankees.
Surhoff curved one around the Pesky Pole in the second, and in
the third Jerry Hairston singled, took second on a sacrifice, stole
third and scored on Mora's single. Baltimore made it 9-0 when in
the sixth when the first seven batters reached base.
Lowe was lifted after he walked Hairston with the bases loaded.
On Lenny DiNardo's second pitch, Roberts doubled into the
left-center gap to score three more. Mora then homered to give the
Orioles a 9-0 lead.
Lopez had a four-hit shutout through five innings but left after
David Ortiz walked with one out in the sixth. Jason Varitek's RBI
single made it 9-1, but Darwin Cubillan got Kevin Millar on a
grounder to third and struck out Kevin Youkilis to end the inning.
Boston scored two more in the seventh on Johnny Damon's double
and Cubillan's wild pitch before Eddy Rodriguez, making his major
league debut, struck out Ortiz and Manny Ramirez and then got
Varitek on a fly ball to end the threat. Kevin Millar led off the
eighth with a homer that made it 12-4.
Monday began a stretch of three series in three different
time zones for the Red Sox. After playing the game with Baltimore
to make up an April 13 rainout, the Red Sox had a two-game series
in Anaheim followed by three in Kansas City. ... Mazzilli said OF
Jay Gibbons will likely return to action Tuesday night in New York.
Gibbons has missed the last six games with back spasms. ... The Red
Sox have sold out 91 consecutive games, the third-longest streak in
baseball history. ... Ramirez has struck out in his last five
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