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Bigbie had been in slump

5/8/2004

BALTIMORE (AP) -- With one swing of the bat, Larry Bigbie put his
slump to rest and finally got to experience the thrill of being
mugged by his teammates after a game-winning homer.

Bigbie's drive off Chad Durbin leading off the 10th inning gave
the Baltimore Orioles a 3-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians on
Friday night.

After Durbin (2-3) entered in the 10th, Bigbie ended a 3-for-19
skid by sending a 1-0 pitch into the bleacher seats in
right-center, his fifth home run of the season.

"It's good to come through and give the team a lift after
having a few series where you haven't been swinging the bat well,"
Bigbie said.

Before his home run, Bigbie's batting average sunk to .233. He
hit .303 last year.

But his troubles this season were temporarily forgotten as soon
as his drive cleared the wall. After watching dozens of players
pull off the feat, Bigbie now knows what it feels like to hit a
walkoff homer.

"I don't think I ever had one, not in the big leagues," he
said. "You don't really know how that feels until you hit one
yourself. Coming around and seeing the whole team waiting to
congratulate you, it's a great feeling. It's why you play the
game."

It was the third time this season Durbin yielded a game-ending
homer. He came in with a 12.66 ERA.

Rafael Palmeiro also homered for the Orioles, who won for only
the fourth time in 11 games.

Jorge Julio (1-0), the sixth Baltimore pitcher, worked the 10th
for the win.

Ronnie Belliard had three hits for the Indians, who fell to 4-9
on the road. Cleveland went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring
position and were guilty of several baserunning errors, including
an ill-advised attempt to steal home by Omar Vizquel.

"We made some mistakes. We had situations where we did not play
smart baseball," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.

Cleveland loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth before
B.J. Ryan struck out Victor Martinez on an 0-2 pitch. Martinez went
0-for-4 with three strikeouts and is hitless in his last 11
at-bats.

Baltimore rookie Erik Bedard, vying for his first big league
victory, was pulled after five innings with the Orioles down 2-1.
He allowed one earned run and five hits, his most effective
performance in four starts this season.

The Indians got a run in the first when Belliard hit a leadoff
single and scored on a double by Jody Gerut. An RBI double by
Miguel Tejada tied it in the bottom half.

Cleveland used a single, an error and a hit batter to load the
bases with two outs in the fifth before Bedard walked cleanup
hitter Martinez to force in a run. Vizquel was then cut down trying
to steal home.

"That was on his own. If he's going to steal, he's got to be
100 percent sure he's going to make it," Wedge said.

Vizquel added: "That's a risky play. I thought I had a chance
to make it. I didn't. It was pretty close."

Palmeiro evened the score in the sixth, driving an 0-1 pitch far
over the 25-foot scoreboard in right. It was the first homer
allowed by Cliff Lee in six starts this season.

"It was going good until I gave up that bomb to Palmeiro," Lee
said. "If I don't give that up, we win."

Lee gave up two runs and five hits in six innings.

Game notes
The game was delayed by rain for 48 minutes after the third
inning. ... Baltimore's Melvin Mora committed his 10th error, most
among AL third basemen. ... The Indians optioned RHP Kazuhito
Tadano to Triple-A Buffalo to make room for RHP Jose Jimenez, who
was activated from the disabled list and pitched two scoreless
innings. ... All four of Palmeiro's homers have been solo shots.