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Yanks Fall To O's

Rookie Sidney Ponson outpitched Hideki Irabu and the Baltimore Orioles ended a record streak by the New York Yankees.

Ponson allowed just two hits in 6 2-3 innings as the Orioles beat the Yankees 2-0 Tuesday night to snap New York's major-league record streak of 24 consecutive non-losing series.

Ponson (1-4), making only his fourth career start, retired 20 of the first 21 batters he faced, allowing just an infield single to Luis Sojo in the third on a ball up the middle that second baseman Roberto Alomar bobbled.

"I was throwing the ball over the plate," Ponson said. "The team supported me tonight and I was pretty confident."

Orioles catcher Lenny Webster said Ponson's fastball was the key.

"He missed a few pitches with location, but he was throwing the ball so hard it didn't make a difference," Webster said.

By winning the first two games of the three-game series, the Orioles assured the Yankees of not splitting or winning a series for the first time since opening the year with two straight losses at Anaheim. New York had been tied for the most consecutive non-losing series in a season with the 1912 Boston Red Sox and 1970 Cincinnati Reds.

Arthur Rhodes finished the combined two-hit shutout with perfect relief for his third save. Alomar homered and Webster matched a career-high with three hits for Baltimore.

Irabu (6-2) allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings, increasing his AL-leading ERA from 1.59 to 1.68. He struck out three and walked three.

After stranding runners in the third and fourth innings, the Orioles finally pushed a run across in the fifth. Webster and Bordick hit consecutive singles and, with two outs, Harold Baines singled to make it 1-0. Alomar led off the sixth by hitting Irabu's 1-0 pitch into the stands in right-center for his seventh homer.

The Yankees threatened in the seventh as Ponson gave up a two-out walk to Tino Martinez and an infield single to Jorge Posada before being pulled. Rhodes then struck out Chad Curtis to end the inning.

"They swept us up at their place, so coming in here we wanted to make a statement," Webster said. "We wanted to say, `This is our place, and you just can't come in and embarrass us in our house."'

After being assured of their first series loss in their past 25, the Yankees seemed unaffected.

"We're a good team and it's just a matter of getting going again," said Chad Curtis. "The past few days we've gone up against some good pitchers. Tonight, we just got shut down it's that simple."

Notes: The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 11 minutes by rain. ... Baltimore's Brady Anderson played for the first time since straining his right quadriceps last Friday. He went 1-for-3 with a walk. ... Sojos third-inning single broke an 0-for-11 streak.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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