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Gibbons, Orioles cool off Lidle, red-hot A’s

By David Ginsburg, The Associated Press
Monday July 15, 2002

BALTIMORE – Mike Hargrove tried to put it delicately, yet there was no mistaking his assertion: Cory Lidle is not to be confused with Mark Mulder, Tim Hudson or Barry Zito. 

Having finally worked their way past the top three starters in the Oakland rotation, the Baltimore Orioles ended their scoring drought Sunday, beating Lidle and the Athletics 6-3 to avert a four-game sweep. 

Jay Gibbons hit two home runs and had a career-high five RBIs for the Orioles, who failed to score a run against Mulder, Hudson and Zito in the first three games of the series. 

It was a different story against Lidle (2-8), who yielded six runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings. 

“I’m not going to sit here and say that Lidle’s not a good pitcher, because he is,” said Hargrove, the Orioles’ manager. “But obviously, the three guys we faced earlier have tremendous stuff, and we were able to get to Lidle today.” 

Especially Gibbons, who hit a two-run drive in the third inning and put Baltimore up 6-3 with a three-run shot in the fifth. He has 16 homers, one more than he hit as a rookie last year in a season shortened by a wrist injury. 

“This feels good, the RBIs more than anything else,” Gibbons said. “The home runs will come; driving runs in and scoring runs are the most important thing.” 

Scoring runs was a difficult proposition for all the Orioles before Sunday. Baltimore managed only one run in the series before feasting on Lidle, who ran into a team desperate to get its offense in sync. 

“They’re hungry. They haven’t been scoring,” Lidle said. “They hit a couple of mistakes I made, and they also hit some good pitches.” 

Rodrigo Lopez (9-3) allowed three runs, seven hits and two walks in seven innings. In 15 starts this year, the rookie is 8-3 with a 3.28 ERA. 

Buddy Groom worked the eighth and Jorge Julio got three outs for his 18th save. 

“I guess if you can win one game of the series,” Hargrove said, “the last one is a good one to win.” 

Jermaine Dye and Miguel Tejada homered for the A’s, who were bidding for a fifth straight victory and their first four-game sweep in Baltimore. Dye enjoyed his second straight three-hit game and scored twice. 

“It’s hard to sweep a four-game series,” Dye said. “The guy at first base (Gibbons) beat us.” 

Baltimore took its first lead of the series in the third. After Tony Batista ended the Orioles’ 21-inning scoreless streak with a two-out RBI double, Gibbons hit Lidle’s next pitch into the right-field seats to make it 3-1. 

But Oakland promptly came back to tie it. Tejada led off the fourth with his 17th homer, the second in two games, before Dye singled and scored on a two-out double by Olmedo Saenz. 

Gibbons put the Orioles ahead for good in the fifth. After Chris Singleton hit a leadoff single and Batista drew a one-out walk, Gibbons drove a 2-1 pitch over the rightfield wall.