Bedard wins fifth straight start; O's snap four-game skid

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Erik Bedard is pitching like a 20-game winner,
and he's halfway there.

Bedard (10-6) won his fifth straight start, Melvin Mora hit a
two-run homer and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Cleveland Indians
7-4 Saturday night to snap a four-game losing streak.

"We could lose 20 in a row and I wouldn't put pressure on
myself," said Bedard. "I just tried to stay in control and get

Ramon Hernandez had two hits and two RBI for the Orioles, who
gained a rare road win against a left-hander. Baltimore won for
just the 12th time in its last 39 road games and improved to 8-22
against lefties by beating rookie Jeremy Sowers (1-2).

Bedard allowed one run and five hits over six innings, striking
out six. The left-hander began the season 4-0, then went 1-6 over
10 starts, but is 5-0 with a 1.29 ERA since June 16.

"It's the best start I've ever had because I've never won 10
games before," said Bedard, whose previous best was nine wins in
Single-A in 2001.

Chris Ray earned his 21st save in 22 chances. He gave up two-out
singles to Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez in the ninth before
getting pinch-hitter Ben Broussard to ground out.

Mora's 11th homer, a line shot over the wall in right-center,
scored Brian Roberts, who opened the third inning with a walk.

"It was a very bad fastball, up and over the plate," Sowers
said of the pitch hit by Mora. "What I've learned already is
there's a very fine line between pitching good and pitching bad."

Two outs later, Hernandez reached on an infield single, advanced
on a wild pitch, and scored when Javy Lopez poked a single to right
to make it 3-0.

Kelly Shoppach opened the bottom half with his first career
homer, hitting a 2-2 pitch just over the wall in left-center. The
ball bounced back to the field and was recovered by a ballboy, who
ran it back to the dugout. Teammate Ben Broussard then faked
throwing it to the crowd before handing the rookie his prized

"It's very exciting to hit that first one, but I wish it had
been in a win," said the catcher, who was one of three players
acquired in a January trade with Boston.

"The ball will go into my parents' collection," he said.
"They've got the first one I ever hit. They've got a basket on the
floor filled with them. Sometimes, my dog gets in there and chews
one up. Hopefully, not this one."

Miguel Tejada and Jeff Conine each had RBI singles in the fourth
to finish Sowers. Both scored on a single by Hernandez off rookie
right-hander Edward Mujica to make it 7-1.

The Indians wasted four scoring chances besides the ninth
inning, leaving two runners on in the second, third and sixth
against Bedard. They loaded the bases in the seventh against
right-hander Todd Williams, who got Ronnie Belliard to hit into an
inning-ending double play.

Aaron Boone, Franklin Gutierrez and Shoppach had consecutive
run-scoring hits with two outs in the eighth off LaTroy Hawkins to
make it 7-4.

"We put together some good at-bats late to get into position to
tie it," manager Eric Wedge said.

Sowers allowed five runs and seven hits over 3 2/3 innings in
his third -- and shortest -- career start. The left-hander walked
three and didn't get a strikeout.

"A little bad luck where a couple of their hits fell in,
coupled with some bad pitches I made was the difference," said
Sowers, who was 9-1 with a 1.39 ERA at Triple-A Buffalo before
being called up June 24. "It's a humbling game."

Mujica gave up only one hit over 3 1/3 innings in his third
appearance since being called up June 20. The right-hander has yet
to allow an earned run this season in 46 2/3 innings between
Double-A Akron, Buffalo and the Indians.

Game notes
Indians OF Todd Hollandsworth missed his third game with a
strained right hamstring. ... Belliard extended his hitting streak
to 13 games with a third-inning single. He's hitting .340
(17-for-50) over that span. ... Martinez went
3-for-5 to put his hitting streak at 11 games and is hitting .449
(22-for-49) over that stretch. ... Orioles OF Nick Markakis went
1-for-4 after missing three games with a bruised right calf. ...
Roberts was 2-for-2 in steal attempts and is 22-for-25 this season.
... Mora left in the fifth with a strained rib muscle.