Orioles 7, Yankees 2

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NEW YORK (AP)—Six days made quite a difference for Rodrigo Lopez.

The Baltimore right-hander outpitched Mike Mussina with a six-hitter, and Brook Fordyce drove in three runs as the Orioles beat the New York Yankees 7-2 Saturday.

Lopez (6-8) struck out a career-high 10 in his second complete game this season and the third of his career. He lasted only four innings in an 8-0 loss to Mussina last Sunday.

“I think I was more focused on my job, trying to make my pitches—every one of them,” Lopez said. “This lineup is pretty tough. You can never relax.”

But you can still have some fun.

Lopez said he shook off Fordyce several times—before he even put down a sign—just to try to confuse the Yankees.

“I was trying to make the batters think,” Lopez said. “It probably looked like my head was a bobblehead tonight. It was just fooling around.”

Hey, whatever works.

Jay Gibbons homered and Tony Batista added a two-run double for the Orioles, who defeated the Yankees for the second day in a row.

Baltimore, swept at home by New York in a four-game series last weekend, has won four straight overall following a season-high eight-game losing skid.

“It was a straight-up battle,” Fordyce said.

Jorge Posada homered for the Yankees, who saw their AL East lead over Boston trimmed to five games. New York had won seven in a row before the Orioles came to town.

“Coming out of this off day we haven’t looked very good,” Mussina said. “We’ve got to start playing the way we were playing before.”

Lopez walked one and improved to 2-1 in three matchups with Mussina this year. It was Lopez’s first start at Yankee Stadium and the first complete-game win of his career.

“He had movement on the ball. He was throwing strikes and kept us on our heels,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

Mussina (14-7) pitched into the ninth inning, when the Orioles broke it open with four runs. He left after Batista’s double and before Deivi Cruz and Fordyce added RBI singles off Jeff Nelson.

“It was obvious that Lopez had better stuff than he did six days ago,” Mussina said. “That was the big difference in the game.”

Mussina had been 4-0 in six starts since his last loss at Toronto on July 12. He gave up six runs and nine hits in 8 1-3 innings, with no walks and four strikeouts. The right-hander dropped to 6-3 lifetime against the Orioles after spending the first 10 years of his career in Baltimore.

“They fought off some pitches and put the ball in play. They bunched their hits together today,” Mussina said.

Gibbons led off the second with his 20th home run, ending Mussina’s 22-inning scoreless streak.

Posada hit his 23rd homer leading off the third. Aaron Boone followed with a single, stole second and scored on Karim Garcia’s single.

Larry Bigbie and Cruz singled with one out in the fifth, and Fordyce hit a two-run triple into the right-field corner for a 3-2 Orioles lead. Fordyce also homered, drove in two runs and had three hits in Baltimore’s 4-3 victory Friday night.

“It happens sometimes. This team has a great offense, but sometimes everybody goes to sleep for one or two days,” Yankees second baseman AlfonsoSoriano said.

Notes

The Yankees retired pitcher Ron Guidry’s No. 49 in a pregame ceremony and gave him a plaque in Monument Park alongside those of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. … Boone stole two bases. … Yankees LF Hideki Matsui snapped an 0-for-12 skid with a seventh-inning single. … Yankees SS Derek Jeter went 0-for-4, ending his 12-game hitting streak. … Lopez is 6-5 in 14 starts since coming off the disabled list June 15. … TheOrioles won for the fourth time in their last 18 games against the Yankees.

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