Orioles win seven of last eight


BALTIMORE (AP) -- Josh Towers had an awful time pitching against
his former team, yet the throw that hurt him most wasn't even
directed toward the plate.

Towers' throwing error fueled a four-run fourth inning that
carried the Baltimore Orioles past the struggling Toronto Blue Jays
11-3 Friday night.

Jay Gibbons homered and Brian Roberts had three hits and two
RBI for the Orioles, who had 15 hits and have won seven of eight.
Four of those wins have come against the Blue Jays, off to the
worst start in franchise history (4-12).

Toronto trailed 3-2 before Baltimore pulled away in the fourth.
After two hits and a walk loaded the bases, Towers hit Melvin Mora
with a pitch, forcing in a run. Miguel Tejada then hit a tapper to
the right side, and Towers threw the ball over the head of first
baseman Carlos Delgado, allowing two runs to score.

Rafael Palmeiro capped the inning with an RBI single for a 7-2

"The turning point was that ball down the line," Orioles
manager Lee Mazzilli said. "That added two runs and changed the
momentum a little bit."

Towers jumped in the air and grimaced as the ball skipped around
in right field.

"I caught the ball and I had plenty of time to throw and I
shanked it," Towers said. "If I get him out it's 4-2 and we're
still in the game. Maybe it's a whole different game."

That's how things have been going for the Blue Jays, who have
lost five of six.

"I thought it was a big part in how the game got out of hand,"
Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said. "He hurried himself when he
didn't have to."

Towers (0-1) had won seven straight decisions since Aug. 15.

Orioles starter Eric DuBose (2-2) allowed two runs and five
hits, striking out three and walking two. He retired the last 12

"Early on, I was just trying to find a way. It was a grind,"
the left-hander said. "Then things started to click, and I started
getting my confidence."

After DuBose and the Orioles fell behind 2-0 in the third,
Baltimore scored three runs in the bottom half. Roberts got the
last of three straight singles to drive in a run, Tejada hit a
run-scoring grounder and Palmeiro followed with a sacrifice fly.

The Orioles piled it on in the fourth against Towers, who
pitched for Baltimore in 2001 and 2002. He allowed seven runs, four
earned, and eight hits in four innings.

Tejada doubled in a run in the sixth against Jason Kershner, and
Gibbons' third homer of the year sparked a three-run seventh
against Aquilino Lopez.

If there was a positive aspect to the loss for Toronto, it's
that Delgado showed signs of breaking his lengthy slump at the
plate. He doubled in a run in the third and hit a sacrifice fly in
the eighth, giving him seven RBI. He had a league-leading 145 last
year, including 28 in April.

But the Blue Jays won't get out of last place unless they get
better production from their starting pitchers, who are a
collective 1-10.

"That's not good. We're not throwing well," Towers said. "We
just haven't been throwing the baseball, period. It showed again

Game notes
The Orioles optioned OF Tim Raines Jr. to Triple-A Ottawa
and called up LHP Erik Bedard, who will start Saturday. ... The
start of the game was delayed 61 minutes by rain. ... B.J. Surhoff
went 3-for-3 for the Orioles and is 5-for-8 in his last two starts.
... Delgado was 2-for-21 against left-handers before his
third-inning double. ... Toronto's Vernon Wells singled in the
fourth to break an 0-for-15 skid.