- The Washington Times - Monday, June 11, 2007

BALTIMORE (AP) — Ryan Spilborghs found hitter-friendly Camden Yards to his liking, while Jason Hirsh proved that a pitcher can prosper in the Baltimore Orioles‘ home.

Spilborghs homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs, Hirsh threw a complete-game five-hitter for his first win in nine starts and the Colorado Rockies defeated the Orioles 6-1 yesterday.

“I hit those balls pretty good. I didn’t see a lot of home runs this weekend, but I noticed during [batting practice] the ball does go out of here a bit,” Spilborghs said. “Probably during the day it carries more.”

Hirsh (3-6), who was 0-5 in eight starts since April 22, struck out two and walked one as the Rockies won for the sixth time in eight games and moved to 5-0-1 in their past six series.

“I think I got stronger as the game went on. … When Spilborghs goes out there and hits two bombs, it helps,” Hirsh said. “He had a heck of a day. It makes my job a whole lot easier.”

Hirsh retired 18 of the final 19 batters he faced. Baltimore didn’t have a baserunner after a two-out single by Paul Bako in the fifth.

Hirsh kind of pitched himself into a corner, but now he’s pitching himself out of a corner with a strong effort today,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “His best fastball came in the ninth inning, 93 miles per hour. Ten ground-ball outs [and] I think he had a dozen fly-ball outs. In the last six innings he was really efficient.”

Spilborghs hit a solo homer off Baltimore starter Erik Bedard in the fourth, then stroked a two-run single the next inning to snap a 1-1 tie. He capped his career day with a three-run blast off reliever John Parrish in the seventh.

“It was one of those days, I was hitting the ball well,” said Spilborghs, who was recalled from Class AAA Colorado Springs on May 19. “I didn’t miss any fastballs.”

Colorado’s Willy Taveras singled in the second, extending his hitting streak to 15 games, the longest current streak in the National League. The Rockies belted out 14 hits, and every player except Troy Tulowitzki had a hit.

Bedard (4-4) went five innings, allowing three runs — two earned — on nine hits, walking three and striking out eight.

“I threw strikes, but they fouled off a lot of pitches, and they hit some good pitches,” Bedard said.

The Orioles have lost seven of nine after a six-game winning streak.

“Sooner or later we’re going to start getting some hits,” Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said. “I wish it were sooner rather than later. … I don’t think we’re swinging the bats real well.”

Colorado stranded five runners in the first two innings, and the Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the second. Miguel Tejada singled and scored on Aubrey Huff’s RBI double into the left-field corner.

Spilborghs tied it in the fourth, leading off with his first homer of the year.

The Rockies broke the standoff in the fifth. With one out, Matt Holliday singled and moved to third on Todd Helton’s single. Helton advanced to second on a passed ball when Bedard struck out Garrett Atkins, and Spilborghs plated both with an opposite-field single to right.

In the seventh, Holliday drew a walk from Scott Williamson and went to third when Helton singled off Parrish, his third hit of the game. After Atkins struck out, Spilborghs crushed a 1-0 pitch into the Baltimore bullpen.

Notes — Tulowitzki fanned four times and now leads Colorado with 53 strikeouts. …

Bedard had gone at least six innings in eight consecutive starts before yesterday.

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