Orioles 7, Blue Jays 6, 1st game; Orioles 4, Blue Jays 0, 2nd game

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BALTIMORE (AP)—Rick Bauer finally won as a starter, and in the process gave the Baltimore Orioles something to think about during the offseason.

Bauer allowed three hits over six innings, and the Orioles completed a doubleheader sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays with a 4-0 victory Wednesday night.

In the opener, Rafael Palmeiro hit two homers and watched Miguel Tejada break his season club record for RBIs in a 7-6 win.

The second game featured a pitching duel between Bauer, making his first start since August 2002, and rookie Gustavo Chacin, working in his second major league game after beating the New York Yankees on Sept 20.

Bauer (2-1) prevailed, recording a career-high seven strikeouts and allowing only one runner past first base. The right-hander was 0-6 with a 5.08 ERA in his previous seven career starts.

“If I’m on, I can definitely start at this level,” Bauer said. “Usually I get too amped up, but tonight I just told myself to keep the ball down and relax.”

Bauer hopes his fine performance will enable him to get a shot at making the starting rotation in 2005.

“It doesn’t hurt,” Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said.

Doubles by Javy Lopez and Jay Gibbons gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning, and Baltimore pulled away with a three-run eighth against reliever Justin Miller.

Gibbons, who went 3-for-3, led off the eighth with a double and scored on a pinch-hit single by B.J. Surhoff. David Newhan then tripled in a run and scored on a sacrifice fly by Melvin Mora.

Buddy Groom gave up one hit in the seventh, Jason Grimsley worked a perfect eighth and B.J. Ryan got three outs to finish the four-hitter.

The victory kept alive the Orioles’ slim chances of finishing without a losing record for the first time since 1997. To do so, they must build on a 6-1 run by winning their final five games.

“These guys haven’t quit. They’re trying hard,” Mazzilli said.

Chacin (1-1) yielded one run and four hits in seven innings.

“He did a great job. The only mistake that sticks out, he hung a curveball to Gibbons that he hit for the double,” Toronto interim manager John Gibbons said. “Other than that he showed something again, against a good hitting lineup.”

The Blue Jays are 8-10 against Baltimore, their first losing season against the Orioles in four years. Toronto had won six straight at Camden Yards before Wednesday.

Tejada’s run-scoring single in the fifth inning of the opener gave him 143 RBIs, snapping the mark set by Palmeiro in 1996.

“That’s awesome, to have it on the same team as me and see him do it,” Palmeiro said. “When I did it, it didn’t seem like that many. When he did it, it seemed like a whole ton of RBIs.”

Playing in his first season in Baltimore after signing as a free agent in December, Tejada leads the AL in RBIs and has 12 in his last seven games.

Palmeiro hit a two-run drive in the fourth and a solo shot in the sixth. His 34th career multihomer game, the second this season, gave him 551 home runs— 12 short of Reggie Jackson for ninth place on the career list.

Newhan singled in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth after the Orioles blew a 6-3 lead.

Vernon Wells homered twice and drove in three runs, and Carlos Delgado and Russ Adams also connected for the last-place Blue Jays.

Tim Raines Jr. led off the ninth with a single off Justin Speier (3-8) and went to third when Adams threw wildly to second on a slow grounder to shortstop by Mora. Tejada then received an intentional walk before Palmeiro struck out.

Newhan, who entered earlier as a pinch-runner, followed with a soft liner to left.

Ryan (4-6) worked a perfect ninth to earn his first win since July 5.


Toronto has been blanked 12 times, and the Orioles have thrown 10 shutouts. … The opener was a makeup of Tuesday night’s rainout. … Palmeiro’s first homer was the 37th in the 12-year history of Camden Yards to land on Eutaw Street beyond the right-field scoreboard. Palmeiro has five of them. … Wells has seven career multihomer games, four against Baltimore.

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