- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 16, 2003

BALTIMORE — Alfonso Soriano went 4-for-5 with two home runs, and Aaron Boone also connected twice to lead a six-homer attack that carried the New York Yankees past the Baltimore Orioles 13-1 last night.

Soriano set the tone by driving the first pitch of the game into the left-field seats, and New York took control by scoring five runs in a span of five pitches against Rodrigo Lopez (7-10) during a six-run fourth.

Jason Giambi and Enrique Wilson homered for the Yankees, who stayed 51/2 games ahead of Boston in the AL East. The six homers were a season-high.

Jorge Posada drove in three runs, and Hideki Matsui became only the third Yankees rookie to amass 100 RBI, joining Joe DiMaggio (125 in 1936) and Tony Lazzeri (114 in 1926).

Andy Pettitte (19-8) allowed one run in six innings to improve to 5-0 against the Orioles this season. The left-hander is 19-4 lifetime against Baltimore, including 12-2 at Camden Yards.

Jerry Hairston drove in the lone run for the Orioles (67-82), whose fifth loss in six games assured them of a team-record sixth straight losing season. Baltimore has lost 17 of its last 21 games against New York.

Giambi led off the fourth with his 39th homer, and 100th RBI, to put the Yankees up 2-1. After a walk and an out, rain caused a 49-minute delay.

After play resumed, Ruben Sierra took a pitch and then singled. Boone hit the next offering far over the left-field wall, a three-run shot that made it 5-1. Karim Garcia singled on the next pitch, and Soriano hit the following pitch into the left-field seats.

It was the fifth career two-homer game for Soriano, the first this season. He has a team-record 11 leadoff homers this year, one short of the major league record of 12 set in 1996 by Baltimore’s Brady Anderson. Soriano’s second homer was his 31st this season, giving him 30 homers and 30 steals for the second season in a row.

New York used a four-run sixth to make it 11-1. After Posada hit a three-run double off Sean Douglass, Matsui delivered an RBI single.

Wilson hit the Yankees’ first pinch-homer of the season in the eighth, and Boone homered in the ninth.

Meanwhile, Orioles outfielder Melvin Mora will miss the final two weeks of the season because of a knee injury.

Mora, who played in his first All-Star Game this season, has a partial tear of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee.

“I’ve just got to let it heal,” said Mora, who struggled to adapt to a bulky brace and crutches as he maneuvered through the Baltimore clubhouse.

“There’s a bone bruise on the knee, too,” he added, before outlining his recovery plans. “Rest, rest and rest.”

The injury occurred Saturday in Toronto, when Mora awkwardly landed against the right-field wall at SkyDome. He had to be taken from the field on a cart.

“It will heal itself,” Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said.

That he won’t need surgery is of little consolation to Mora, whose career year was interrupted by injuries.

“Is it frustrating?” asked Mora, who led the AL in hitting from June 9 to July 12. “A lot.”

Baltimore called up outfielder Pedro Swann from Class AA Ottawa to provide outfield depth during Mora’s absence.

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