- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 13, 2003

TORONTO (AP) — Josh Towers stuck it to his former team.

Towers struck out a career-high nine, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-2 last night for their third straight win.

“I’ve been looking forward to pitching against them ever since I signed with the Blue Jays,” Towers said. “I think I showed them something.”

Towers (6-1) allowed two runs and nine hits in 7⅔ innings and walked none, improving to 4-1 with a 2.75 ERA in five starts. After striking out the side in the seventh, Towers pumped a fist.

The 26-year-old right-hander came up with Baltimore in 2001 and had some success early before finishing that season 8-10. He went 0-3 with a 7.90 ERA in five appearances last year before his demotion to the minor leagues.

He said the Orioles angered him when they didn’t call him in the offseason to invite him back.

“They never asked why I had a bad year. I don’t think they ever cared that my arm hurt, or if they did they thought I was lying,” Towers said. “Oh well, I proved them wrong today.”

Towers allowed homers to Melvin Mora and Tony Batista in the first two innings but settled down after getting Batista to hit into an inning-ending double play in the third.

“Early, I was like, ‘Oh my God, they are probably laughing at me,’” Towers said. “I was pretty excited with how it finished.”

Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said Towers was too juiced in the first three innings.

“After he got the ground ball with the bases loaded in the third, he seemed to be in better control of himself,” Tosca said. “He didn’t try to overthrow.”

Aquilino Lopez got two outs for his 11th save in 13 chances.

Baltimore has lost three straight. Eric DuBose (2-5) allowed eight hits in his first career complete game.

Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said Towers has improved his breaking pitches.

“It’s obvious that he’s worked on that,” Hargrove said.

Mora homered off Towers in the first, but Reed Johnson homered leading off the bottom half. Batista gave Baltimore a 2-1 lead in the second with his 25th homer, but Eric Hinske hit a RBI single in the bottom half.

Carlos Delgado doubled in the fourth and scored on DuBose’s wild pitch. Dave Berg hit what looked to be a fly ball to center that ticked off the glove of Luis Matos, allowing Eric Hinske to score on a what was ruled a triple.

Notes — The Orioles removed struggling left-hander Damian Moss from the rotation. He is 1-4 with a 5.48 ERA in eight starts since being obtained in the trade the sent Sidney Ponson to San Francisco. … Matos left with a strained left hamstring in the fifth inning. … Towers went 8-13 in 29 appearances for Baltimore.

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