This time, the Baltimore Orioles played with feeling against the Montreal Expos.
They got some pretty good pitching, too, which is probably the main reason behind their vengeful three-game sweep.
Will Clark and Harold Baines homered to back the six-hit pitching of Scott Erickson as the Orioles won their fifth straight, 2-1 over the slumping Expos on Saturday night.
What he saw this year was a healthy Baltimore team and some good starting pitching. Erickson, like Sidney Ponson and Mike Mussina before him, turned in an impressive performance against the youthful Expos.
"I thought we were a little flat and that we outhustled them," Orioles manager Ray Miller said, showing no attempt to mask his satisfaction. "I didn't appreciate what was said last year because we had about 17 healthy players at the time."
Montreal is now the team that's hurting, with seven players on the disabled list. The Expos, who have dropped five straight and 10 of 15, were no match for the Orioles in the first two games and couldn't come up with enough offense in the finale.
"The difference? They're playing at home," Alou said. "And they're pitching very well, they did not pitch very well last year in our series."
"What I said last year was not really taken the way I meant it, but I'm not going back on that," Alou added. "I know that it's a hell of a ballclub. The truth is in that particular series they did not play very well. But in this one they did, like they are capable of, like they are expected to."
Erickson (5-8) struck out two and walked three in recording his fourth straight victory and second complete game of the year. The right-hander is unbeaten in eight starts since June 4.
"I've straightened out things mechanically a little bit," Erickson said. "I've still got some things to work on, buI'm getting along."
The Orioles are an AL-best 10-5 in interleague play.
Clark homered in the fourth and Baines hit his 21st of the season in the sixth, a 443-foot shot to right-center off Dustin Hermanson. The homer was Baines' 220th as a designated hitter, breaking a tie atop the career list with Don Baylor.
Michael Barrett had two hits and scored the lone run for the Expos, who fell a season-worst 21 games under .500 (33-54).
Hermanson (3-8) allowed two runs and four hits in six innings, his lone costly mistakes coming against Clark and Baines. He's 0-5 in 12 starts since May 8 and has won only once since April 16.
"You've got to have some things go your way in this game," Hermanson said. "It's a game of inches, it seems we've been on the short end of the ruler quite a bit this year."
The Orioles got the leadoff man on base in each of the first three innings but failed to score. Albert Belle stranded three runners, hitting a two-out flyball in the first and taking a third strike with two on in the third.
Clark broke the scoreless duel in the fourth with his eighth home run, a drive to right that barely cleared the 25-foot scoreboard.
Montreal scored in the eighth on a triple by Barrett and a groundout by Mike Mordecai. Shane Andrews and Wilton Guerrero then hit two-out singles and Jose Vidro walked on four pitches before Rondell White hit into a fielder's choice.
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