Orioles 7, Blue Jays 2

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TORONTO (AP)—Feeling a little more comfortable as a visitor at SkyDome, Pat Hentgen beat his former team for the first time.

Hentgen pitched six strong innings, and Jeff Conine and Melvin Mora homered as the Baltimore Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 on Saturday.

Hentgen (3-5) won his second straight start, allowing two runs and five hits, while striking out five and walking two.

“It feels a little funny running out there, going into the opposing dugout, but after the first out it’s game on,” Hentgen said. “I felt probably worse the last time in September. This time I felt like it was just a normal game, where in September I felt kind of funny coming back and pitching back here for the first time.”

Hentgen, who was 120-88 for Toronto from 1991-99, took the loss in his first start back at SkyDome last Sept. 26.

The 34-year-old right-hander was pitching at SkyDome for just the second time since leaving after the 1999 season. He earned three All-Star appearances, a World Series championship and a Cy Young Award in his nine years in Toronto.

“I have a lot of great memories. It’s a great city and it was a great part of my career,” Hentgen said.

There were several scouts at the game to watch Hentgen, who has been the subject of trade rumors.

After giving up 10 runs in 12 innings spanning his previous two starts, Hentgen limited Texas to two runs over 6 1-3 innings in a 3-2 win last Monday.

“I’m getting a little life back in my ball,” said Hentgen, who missed most of last season after having “Tommy John” ligament replacement surgery. “Each time they’ve handed me the ball, I feel I’m getting stronger.”

Former Blue Jays third baseman Tony Batista went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.

Batista said he and Hentgen had something to prove.

“We tried to show what we got, and that we can still do it,” Batista said.

Mora, who entered the game in a 3-for-25 slump since the All-Star break, hit his 14th homer, a solo shot off Toronto starter Mark Hendrickson (6-7) in the first.

Baltimore’s Carlos Mendez hit an RBI single in the second, but Orlando Hudson hit a run-scoring single in the bottom half and Toronto’s Bobby Kielty tied it with an RBI single in the third.

Mendez hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth and Luis Matos’ run-scoring single in the fifth gave Baltimore a 4-2 lead.

Matos hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh and Conine’s two-run homer off struggling reliever Juan Acevedo gave Baltimore a 7-2 lead.

Hendrickson allowed four runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings.

“I just couldn’t throw the ball where I wanted to,” Hendrickson said. “Iknew what I was doing wrong. I just couldn’t make the adjustments.

Notes

The Orioles placed 1B David Segui on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left wrist. Segui hurt his left wrist on a check swing. Baltimore recalled outfielder Larry Bigbie from Triple-A Ottawa. … Hentgen signed a $1.2 million contract before this season. … Toronto ace Roy Halladay willpitch on three days’ rest on Sunday.

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