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Bombers Explode In Baltimore


For the New York Yankees, the game served as evidence that the two-time defending World Series champions are back on course after a lengthy malaise.

For the Baltimore Orioles, it was yet another embarrassment in a season that long ago turned sour.

Paul O'Neill had six RBIs, four hits and a homer, and Bernie Williams hit a grand slam as the Yankees routed the Orioles 19-1 Tuesday night.

Derek Jeter, Ryan Thompson and Clay Bellinger also homered and Jose Vizcaino had four of the Yankees' season-high 20 hits. New York has won eight of 11 to move 11 games over .500 (53-42) for the first time since May 12.

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Game Summary

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  • "We're on a roll now. It seems like all the aspects of our game are clicking our pitching, we're hitting the ball great, we're hitting in scoring position," Williams said. "It just seems like everything is coming together."

    An eighth-inning homer by B.J. Surhoff enabled the Orioles to avoid the worst shutout loss in franchise history. Baltimore's most lopsided defeat was by 19 runs, 26-7 at Texas in 1996.

    "It was just one of those games. It was ugly, you're glad you get through it healthy and you move on," Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said. "It certainly isn't fun."

    Hargrove used five pitchers, and each gave up at least a run.

    "We just didn't pitch well. That may be the understatement of the season," he said.

    Andy Pettitte (10-6) allowed eight hits in seven innings to improve to 11-2 against the Orioles, including 7-0 at Camden Yards. He had been winless in three starts since beating the Orioles at Yankee Stadium on July 5.

    "It's easier to pitch with a five or six-run lead, but when you get a 12 or 14-run lead, it's kind of hard to concentrate and keep your focus," said Pettitte, who was replaced with New York ahead 17-0.

    The Yankees did the brunt of their damage against Scott Erickson, who yielded eight runs and nine hits in four innings. The key blow was O'Neill's 13th homer, a three-run drive that put New York up 8-0 in the fourth.

    Williams' ninth career slam and second this season capped a six-run seventh inning against Chuck McElroy that made it 16-0. Thompson hit a solo shot in the eighth and Bellinger hit a two-run drive in the ninth.

    "We're all swinging the bats pretty well, we've pitched well, we just seem to have a good feel about us right now," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

    Erickson (5-8) has lost five of his last eight starts and owns a lofty 7.87 ERA. His ineffectiveness has severely lessened his value as the skidding Orioles ponder deals before the July 31 trade deadline.

    "We just haven't seen consistency in the movement of his pitches that we've seen in the past," Hargrove said. "He certainly hasn't found his stride, hasn't found his rhythm."

    Baltimore fell a season-high 12 games behind the first-place Yankees in the AL East and dropped 13 games below .500 (43-56), tying a season high.

    The Orioles went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position after going 1-for-14 Monday in a 4-3 loss to New York.

    O'Neill hit an RBI single in the first inning, and New York made it 4-0 in the third. After O'Neill hit an RBI groundout, Williams singled in a run and beat the throw to the plate on a two-out double by David Justice.

    Jeter extended his hitting streak to a season-high 13 games with an RBI single in the fourth before O'Neill drilled Erickson's next pitch into the right-field seats.

    Jeter hit a two-run homer off Gabe Molina in the sixth to make it 10-0.

    Notes

  • It was the 18th time the Orioles have allowed at least 10 runs. Baltimore has also yielded seven grand slams.
  • Justice has 15 RBIs in 20 games with New York.
  • Baltimore executed a double steal in the second, the first time since April 7 that a team has stolen on Pettitte.
  • Albert Belle has gone 23 games without a homer, matching the longest dry spell of his career.

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