NEW YORK (AP) -- Six days made quite a difference for Rodrigo Lopez.
Lopez (6-8) struck out a career-high 10 in his second complete game this season and the third of his career. He lasted only four innings in an 8-0 loss to Mussina last Sunday.
"I think I was more focused on my job, trying to make my pitches -- every one of them," Lopez said. "This lineup is pretty tough. You can never relax."
But you can still have some fun.
Lopez said he shook off Fordyce several times -- before he even
put down a sign -- just to try to confuse the Yankees.
"I was trying to make the batters think," Lopez said. "It
probably looked like my head was a bobblehead tonight. It was just
Hey, whatever works.
Baltimore, swept at home by New York in a four-game series last
weekend, has won four straight overall following a season-high
eight-game losing skid.
"It was a straight-up battle," Fordyce said.
Jorge Posada homered for the Yankees, who saw their AL East lead
over Boston trimmed to five games. New York had won seven in a row
before the Orioles came to town.
"Coming out of this off day we haven't looked very good,"
Mussina said. "We've got to start playing the way we were playing
Lopez walked one and improved to 2-1 in three matchups with
Mussina this year. It was Lopez's first start at Yankee Stadium and
the first complete-game win of his career.
"He had movement on the ball. He was throwing strikes and kept
us on our heels," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
"It was obvious that Lopez had better stuff than he did six
days ago," Mussina said. "That was the big difference in the
Mussina had been 4-0 in six starts since his last loss at
Toronto on July 12. He gave up six runs and nine hits in 8 1-3
innings, with no walks and four strikeouts. The right-hander
dropped to 6-3 lifetime against the Orioles after spending the
first 10 years of his career in Baltimore.
"They fought off some pitches and put the ball in play. They
bunched their hits together today," Mussina said.
Gibbons led off the second with his 20th home run, ending
Mussina's 22-inning scoreless streak.
Larry Bigbie and Cruz singled with one out in the fifth, and
Fordyce hit a two-run triple into the right-field corner for a 3-2
Orioles lead. Fordyce also homered, drove in two runs and had three
hits in Baltimore's 4-3 victory Friday night.
"It happens sometimes. This team has a great offense, but
sometimes everybody goes to sleep for one or two days," Yankees
second baseman Alfonso Soriano said.
The Yankees retired pitcher Ron Guidry's No. 49 in a
pregame ceremony and gave him a plaque in Monument Park alongside
those of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. ...
Boone stole two bases. ... Yankees LF Hideki Matsui snapped an
0-for-12 skid with a seventh-inning single. ... Yankees SS Derek
Jeter went 0-for-4, ending his 12-game hitting streak. ... Lopez is
6-5 in 14 starts since coming off the disabled list June 15. ...
The Orioles won for the fourth time in their last 18 games against