- The Washington Times - Friday, April 25, 2003

BALTIMORE Gary Matthews picked a perfect time to launch his first home run of the season.
The left-handed outfielder stepped into the batter's box with his team trailing in the seventh inning. When he started toward first base, the ball was heading over the wall in right-center to give the Baltimore Orioles the lead on their way to a 5-4 victory in front of 23,731 on a beautiful evening at Camden Yards.
Matthews' two-run homer, on a first-pitch fastball from reliever Tom Gordon, provided the game's final runs. The White Sox came into the seventh with a 4-2 lead, but Deivi Cruz cut into the deficit with a leadoff homer to left. With one out, Melvin Mora doubled down the third base line. Gordon then came on for Rick White and struck out Jose Leon before Matthews delivered the decisive 404-foot blast.
With the victory, the Orioles went over .500 for the first time since winning on Opening Day. Baltimore is 11-10 as it heads into a six-game road trip starting tonight at Tampa Bay. The Orioles also won the series with the White Sox 2-1 to take their third consecutive series for the first time since last April.
Willis Roberts (2-1) picked up the win by pitching 1⅓ shutout innings. Jorge Julio gained his sixth save with a perfect ninth, including striking out pinch hitter Brian Daubach looking to end the game. Gordon (1-2) absorbed the loss. Chicago starter Josh Stewart had left the game with a 4-2 lead after five innings. Baltimore starter Rodrigo Lopez allowed four runs over six innings, but avoided the loss thanks to Matthews and the bullpen.
Matthews also had a triple and scored in the first inning. Mora, who has been pressed into action due to recent injuries, went 3-for-4, including a leadoff homer in the first.
The White Sox had taken a 4-2 lead in the third on Jose Valentin's two-run homer, which cleared the scoreboard in right. The 382-foot blast off a hanging 3-1 slider came after D'Angelo Jimenez led off with a single to right. Lopez labored through the first three innings, throwing 48 pitches, but avoided further damage in the inning with the help of a double play.
Chicago had tied the game at 2-2 in the second inning. Paul Konerko led off with a double to right and scored on Carlos Lee's double down the third base line. After Armando Rios' sacrifice bunt moved Lee to third, and Joe Crede's sacrifice fly scored Lee.
Baltimore jumped on Stewart in the first on Mora's homer. The opposite-field shot was Mora's third homer of the season and fifth leadoff home run of his career. With one out, Matthews tripled off the right-field wall. He scored on Jeff Conine's sacrifice fly.

Notes The Orioles placed first baseman David Segui on the 15-day disabled list and recalled outfielder Larry Bigbie from Class AAA Ottawa. Segui has not played since suffering a strained right hamstring April 17. The move is retroactive to April 18, so he's eligible to return on May 3. Segui spent time on the DL earlier this season with a broken thumb. He returned on April 5 and was hitting .441 before the latest setback.
The 25-year old Bigbie hit .333 at Ottawa and started last night in left field. He will likely take away some playing time from 38-year old B.J. Surhoff. Bigbie, who's played in 63 career games with Baltimore, will be used on a regular basis.
"It's a necessity thing," acting manager Sam Perlozzo said of the call-up to the injury-riddled Orioles. "But again, he is one of our better prospects. If he's not going to play every day, we should probably bring someone else up. We brought him so he's going to play." …
Marty Cordova underwent surgery yesterday to remove bone chips from his right elbow at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. The outfielder is expected to be out at least six weeks … Manager Mike Hargrove, who has missed the last five games while attending to his ailing mother in Texas, could rejoin the team tonight … Second baseman Jerry Hairston is recovering quickly from a sprained left ankle and was available off the bench last night.

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