Orioles snap Rangers' four-game win streak

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- The Baltimore Orioles were short in

their bullpen -- so short they needed Yorkis Perez to come in with

the game on the line to earn his first save in more than seven



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Melvin Mora hit a tiebreaking, two-run triple in the ninth

inning and the Orioles hung on to end Texas' four-game winning

streak with a 7-5 victory Saturday night.

Rick Bauer (4-4) pitched 1 2/3 innings out of the bullpen. He

struggled to get the win after walking the first two batters in the

bottom of the ninth.

After registering an out, Bauer allowed a run-scoring single to

Kevin Mench to make it 7-5. One out later, Perez relieved and

struck out pinch-hitter Herbert Perry on a called third strike with

runners on first and second for his first save since June 9, 1995

for Florida.

"I tried to do the best I could to help the bullpen,'' Perez

said. "We needed that game and we didn't have some of our relief

pitchers available. I try to be ready but I didn't realize I'd be

in there in the ninth. It was an exciting time for me. I thank my

manager for giving me a chance.''

Orioles manager Mike Hargrove wanted to get through the night

without using overworked relievers Buddy Groom, Willis Roberts and

closer Jorge Julio, and he succeeded.

"I knew before the game I wasn't going to use Julio,'' Hargrove

said. "He's pitched in 40 games. That's a lot of appearances. Our

bullpen needs the rest. The All-Star break comes at a good time for


Hargrove took his chances with the 34-year-old Perez, brought up

from Triple-A Rochester to pitch for his seventh major league team.

"I hope it isn't another seven years before his next save,''

Hargrove said.

With the game tied 4-all, Geronimo Gil led off the ninth with a

single off Colby Lewis (1-1). After Lewis hit Mike Bordick with a

pitch, Mora drove in pinch-runner Jerry Hairston and Bordick when

he hit a fastball to the wall in right-center.

"I was just trying to hit it hard,'' Mora said. "It's a big

situation. I'm glad that the manager had enough confidence in me to

let me hit there. He has confidence in everybody on this team.''

Brian Roberts added a sacrifice fly to extend Baltimore's lead

to 7-4.

Marty Cordova had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and

Gil added two hits for the Orioles.

Michael Young had two hits and Carl Everett homered for the

Rangers, who had won eight straight over the Orioles.

The Orioles took a 3-0 lead in the second against Dave Burba.

Jay Gibbons was hit by a pitch, went to third on Cordova's double

off the glove of center fielder Everett and scored on Chris

Singleton's groundout. Gil doubled in the second run and later

scored from third on Burba's wild pitch.

Baltimore made it 4-0 in the third when Gibbons drew a two-out

walk and scored on Cordova's double.

Burba allowed four runs and four hits over four innings.

"As a pitcher, it's my job to keep the game close and give my

team innings pitched and I didn't do that tonight,'' Burba said.

"I didn't pitch great and I didn't pitch bad.''

Orioles starter Sidney Ponson retired the first eight batters

before Everett hit his sixth homer in the third. Everett hadn't

homered since April 25.

In the fourth, Juan Gonzalez's RBI double and Ivan Rodriguez's

run-scoring single cut the deficit to 4-3.

Texas tied it at 4 in the sixth, loading the bases with one out

against Ponson and getting a sacrifice fly from Ivan Rodriguez.

Ponson then left with a recurrance of a blister on the middle

finger of his right hand. Reliever B.J. Ryan struck out Mike Lamb

with runners on first and third to preserve the tie for the

Orioles. Ponson gave up four runs and six hits over 5 2/3 innings

with five strikeouts and one walk.

Game notes
Gonzalez was ejected in the eighth after protesting a called

third strike by home plate umpire Jeff Nelson. ... Burba has won

one of his last 10 starts, with four losses and five no-decisions

in that span. ... Ponson has a loss and seven no-decisions in his

previous eight starts. His last victory was on May 23. ...

Everett's 438-foot blast into the upper deck in right field was the

longest homer at The Ballpark in Arlington this season. ... Todd

Van Poppel was in relief for the Rangers in the fifth, sixth and

seventh innings. ...Ponson said he broke the blister in the fourth