- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 22, 2004

BALTIMORE — The Toronto Blue Jays have rejuvenated themselves at Camden Yards, where the Baltimore Orioles are again playing the role of gracious hosts.

Carlos Delgado homered and drove in three runs to key a 15-hit outburst, and the Blue Jays handed Baltimore its fifth straight loss, 10-4 yesterday.

Toronto had gone 36 straight games without scoring nine runs before beating the Orioles 14-4 on Friday night. For an encore, the Blue Jays scored nine runs in the first four innings and cruised to a second straight win for the first time since Aug. 2-3.

“Against this team, we’ve been scoring some runs lately,” interim manager John Gibbons said. “You had to believe it was a matter of time.”

Rookie Dave Bush (2-3) allowed three runs in six innings for the Blue Jays, who have their first winning streak under Gibbons, now 4-8 since taking over for Carlos Tosca. The victory also enabled the Blue Jays to clinch their first road series win since June 18-20, at San Diego.

“You can’t see it coming together in just two days,” said second baseman Orlando Hudson, one of seven Blue Jays to get two hits. “But right now, we’re swinging the bats real well, pitching well, playing good defense behind our pitchers. Right now, it’s fun for us.”

Karim Garcia homered for the Orioles, who have been outscored 43-13 during the first five games of a homestand that ends today. In its previous homestand, Baltimore went 7-0 to start a run of 11 wins in 13 games.

But now the Orioles are 29-34 at Camden Yards, the second-worst home record in the AL.

The Blue Jays did most of their damage against rookie Daniel Cabrera (9-6), who yielded eight runs, eight hits and two walks in 2 1-3 innings ? his shortest stint in 20 major league starts. Over his last six starts, Cabrera’s ERA has swollen to 4.67 from 3.05.

The right-hander has thrown a combined 145 innings for the Orioles and Double-A Bowie this season; his previous career high was 1251/3 innings last season with Class-A Delmarva.

“I don’t feel tired,” Cabrera insisted, but pitching coach Ray Miller wasn’t so sure after watching starters Sidney Ponson, Dave Borkowski and Cabrera struggle on successive days.

“For whatever reason, it seemed like a dead-arm period the last three days,” Miller said. “I noticed when everyone was warming up. I don’t know, the last three days I’m not seeing command of the fastball. Maybe I’m giving the hitters too much credit, but … it seems like everybody’s trying to throw a shutout in the first inning. It’s a command thing.”

Cabrera started the game with a four-pitch walk, then hit Hudson with a pitch. Two batters later, Delgado hit a sacrifice fly.

“The problem is, I never throw the first-pitch strike. After that, the guy can hit me easy,” Cabrera said.

Toronto made it 6-0 in the second. After Johnson hit a two-run single and Hudson singled in a run, Delgado sent a 1-2 pitch far over the right-field scoreboard for his 20th home run.

It’s been a difficult season for Delgado, whose run of six straight seasons with at least 30 homers is in jeopardy. But he’s still dangerous.

“Even if Carlos is struggling a little bit, anytime he’s in the box, he’s got that bat,” Gibbons said. “He can bury you anytime.”

In the third, Gregg Zaun hit an RBI double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Chris Woodward. That spelled the end for Cabrera, who threw only 57 pitches.

“I see signs of him trying too hard,” Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said. “He’s kind of aiming it right now. He has to get back the swagger he had early on. I don’t see it right now.”

An RBI double by Alexis Rios against Todd Williams made it 9-0 in the fourth.

“We’ve done a great job getting good pitches to hit,” Rios said. “That’s what we need to do.”

Garcia homered in the fifth, the first of four straight hits that included an RBI single by David Newhan.

The Orioles added a run in the sixth when Rafael Palmeiro doubled and scored on a single by Javy Lopez, but Toronto went up 10-3 in the seventh when Hudson hit an RBI single, giving him his ninth multihit game in his last 11 starts.

Notes — Before the game, the Orioles inducted OF Brady Anderson into the club’s Hall of Fame. …. Vernon Wells was the only Toronto starter to go hitless.

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