- The Washington Times - Friday, June 18, 2004

LOS ANGELES — Baltimore Orioles castoff Jayson Werth was particularly gratified to get a big hit against them.

Werth hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Orioles 6-3 Wednesday night.

“They pretty much just gave me up, gave me away for whatever,” Werth said. “It was good to get that hit against that team. I think I was 0-for-2 against them.”

Werth, a first-round pick by the Orioles and the 22nd player taken in the 1997 draft, spent four years in the Baltimore farm system, but never played a game for the Orioles. They traded him to Toronto in December 2000 for pitcher John Bale.

Odalis Perez (4-3) held Baltimore to one run and five hits in seven innings, striking out eight. Werth’s third homer staked the left-hander to a 5-0 lead.

Werth’s shot into the left-field bullpen came against Matt Riley, his former batterymate and roommate in the minors.

“Sorry about that,” Werth said.

Riley said Werth spoiled his outing.

“Just one swing of the bat can ruin the whole game for you. He’s one of my really good friends and he knows me pretty good,” Riley said. “He was sitting on a fastball on the inside corner because he knows that’s what I like to do.

“When I get behind, I like to come in with the heater, and he got his pitch. I’m going to get him sometimes, and he’s going to get me sometimes. That’s just how the game works.”

Perez got his second win in nine starts, with the lone run against him coming on Javy Lopez’s ninth home run on the first pitch of the seventh.

The Orioles scored twice in the eighth on an RBI single by Miguel Tejada against Duaner Sanchez, and Rafael Palmeiro’s sacrifice fly against Tom Martin.

Eric Gagne replaced Martin and struck out Lopez on three pitches to end the inning. Gagne finished for his 15th save and major league-record 78th in a row.

Perez (4-3) has pitched well but been hurt by a lack of offensive support much of this season, with his two losses in his last nine outings a 4-0 defeat against Cincinnati and a 2-0 loss to Atlanta.

He had five no-decisions during that span, allowing a total of nine runs in the five games.

This time, however, his teammates provided him a 6-0 pad in the fifth inning against the Orioles, who lost for the eighth time in 11 games.

“We got seven great innings from Odalis Perez, and it’s good to see us score some runs,” Los Angeles manager Jim Tracy said.

It was the third homer for Werth, who was acquired from Toronto on March30 for pitcher Jason Frasor and has spent much of the season on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his rib cage.

Riley allowed five runs on seven hits in four innings. He struck out five.

The Dodgers’ first run came on Shawn Green’s RBI infield single in the third.

The Dodgers beat the Orioles 5-1 a night earlier in the opener of the three-game series. Los Angeles is 4-4 in interleague play, and Baltimore is 2-5.

Notes — The Olympic torch relay passed through Dodger Stadium before the game on its way to Athens. Actor Tom Cruise carried the torch onto the field, handed off to Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Janet Evans, who passed the flame to heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, who then passed it to Olympic decathlon champion Rafer Johnson. … Baltimore pitcher Ricardo Lopez said he is upset that Lee Mazzilli, the Orioles’ rookie manager, demoted him to the bullpen. Mazzilli said, “As for what he said about being treated, I don’t know how to answer that because I treat him with respect and I like him a lot.” … Rob Derksen, the manager of Greece’s Olympic baseball team and an Orioles scout, died of a heart attack. He was 44. Derksen died Wednesday while in New York on Olympic-related business.

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