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Orioles Top A's To End Streak


Before the game, Orioles manager Ray Miller criticized starter Jason Johnson for trying to be too perfect with his pitches.

After a strong outing by Johnson, Miller was willing to accept the pitcher's perfectionism.

Johnson pitched seven strong innings and Mike Bordick's three-run homer highlighted a six-run fifth as Baltimore broke a six-game losing streak with a 9-5 win Wednesday over Oakland. Albert Belle also homered as Baltimore stopped the Athletics' five-game winning string.

"The kid pitched pretty well," Miller said. "He still has a tendency to get a little fine sometimes, but he has a big upside."

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  • Johnson (3-5), who retired 12 straight batters during one span, gave up three runs and six hits while pitching into the eighth inning for the first time this season.

    "This was my best game of the whole year," Johnson said. "My mechanics were the way I wanted them. Everything was just sound, just perfect. The whole year I've been pulling off to the right side the whole time. Today I made progress. From the first pitch on, I felt I knew exactly what I was doing."

    After allowing Jason Giambi's 23rd homer in the first, Johnson did not give up another hit until the fifth inning.

    "He pitched a good game. He must have had something extra on his fastball, as we were popping him up all day," A's manager Art Howe said. "They gave him a lot to work with there in the fifth inning, and he did what he had to do."

    Bordick, who spent 1990-96 with the Athletics, hit his eighth homer of the season off Jimmy Haynes (7-10). Haynes, who lost his third straight start, is 0-5 against his former team he came up through the Baltmore farm system and pitched briefly for the Orioles in 1995-96.

    "There's always good memories here in Oakland," Bordick said. "It's good to get a win today here in Oakland."

    The Orioles sent 11 batters to the plate in the fifth inning, in which Mike Figga and Delino DeShields had RBI doubles and Jeff Conine added an RBI single.

    Belle hit his 26th homer leading off the second inning for Baltimore's first run. Belle had been in a 1-for-12 slump. The Orioles added two runs in the ninth on RBI singles by B.J. Surhoff and Conine.

    Haynes allowed seven runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings. He has a 2.06 ERA in his seven wins this season but a 7.58 ERA in his 15 other starts.

    The A's also scored on an RBI single by A.J. Hinch in the fifth, a double-play grounder in the eighth and Ben Grieve's two-run homer in the ninth. Giambi extended his hitting streak to 12 games, tying the A's best this season.

    Giambi's homer was Oakland's 150th of the season, surpassing the club total for all of 1998. Grieve added No. 151 later in the game.

    Oakland remained 2 1/2 games behind Toronto, but fell two games in back of Boston, in the AL wild-card race. The A's had won their previous eight games at home.

    Notes

  • After not homering for all of July, Bordick has homered twice so far in August.
  • The Orioles salvaged one win on their six-game road trip that ended Wednesday, avoiding their longest winless roadtrip since 1995.
  • The A's were trying for their first series sweep against the Orioles in Oakland since 1989.
  • Thanks to Giambi's first-inning homer, the A's have led in each of their last 26 games.
  • Oakland's John Jaha, who entered the game having reached base safely in seven straight plate appearances, went 0-for-4.
  • Baltimore's Jesse Orosco got the final out in his 1,068th appearance, leaving him two behind Hoyt Wilhelm and three behind Dennis Eckersley on the career list.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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