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O's pitcher earns first win since May 16

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Sidney Ponson knew he'd eventually stop
losing.

Ponson ended his nine-game losing streak with six strong innings
to lead the Baltimore Orioles to a 7-4 win over the Kansas City
Royals on Monday night.

"I'm always confident I'll win the game," Ponson said. "It
doesn't matter what kind of streak I'm on, I always think, 'This is
the game I'm going to get out of it.' I'm always confident until
the 27th out is called."

Ponson (4-12) gave up two runs on seven hits in six innings. He
walked four and struck out three.

"When your ace goes out to pitch, you think he's going to pitch
a good game all the time," he said. "That's the feeling you have
to have. I've watched him throw his sides and he threw real good.
You can look at a guy's eyes and tell how he feels. He looked like
he felt good."

That translated into a win and a nice reaction from Ponson.

"Sidney had a nice, big smile on his face I hadn't seen in a
while," Mazzilli said. "He pitched a real good game. He was
smoking out there. He came into the game feeling good about
himself. This was a big game for him, to come out of the shoot and
get the win."

Brian Anderson (1-9) gave up five hits and three runs to lose a
team-record ninth straight start. He has eight relief appearances
during the skid, which topped Jeff Suppan's eight straight in 2002.

"I was better -- a lot better -- than giving up three runs.
That's the frustrating thing," Anderson said. "You have to be
happy with progress, but it's time to win some games.

Javy Lopez had three hits and two RBI for the Orioles, and
Miguel Tejada hit his 16th homer, a two-run shot in the fourth.

Ponson's start wasn't as crisp as he would have liked. He gave
up runs in the first two innings and stranded two baserunners in
the third and fourth. He gave up two hits in the fifth but was
helped out by a double play. In the sixth, Ponson gave up a leadoff
single to Angel Berroa but after consecutive flyouts, Berroa was
thrown out trying to steal second base.

"I'm not 100 percent happy with the way I threw the ball
today," Ponson said. "A win is a fresh start, but I'm still 4-12.
If the season ended today, (people) would say I had a bad season. I
have 13 or 14 more starts. I'll take it start by start, and
hopefully I can put something together."

The Royals scored in the first on Ken Harvey's RBI single.
Harvey's two-out hit to left broke a 1-for-33 string. He finished
the night 3-for-5, with a home run and two RBI.

Kansas City's John Buck hit his first career home run a solo
shot in the second. Buck, acquired from Houston on June 24 as part
of the deal for Carlos Beltran, also got his first RBI on the hit.
He entered the game hitting just .143.

Baltimore went ahead 3-2 on Tejada's three-run shot in the
fourth.

"When you get ahead in the count, you have multiple
opportunities to get hits," Tejada said. "He had thrown a great
game up to that point. I don't think any pitcher wants to walk a
hitter, so I was looking for something over the plate."

The Orioles added three more runs in the seventh, highlighted by
Lopez's two-out, two-run double. They also scored a run in the
eighth on David Newhan's RBI double.<
^Notes@: Lopez raised his career average to .516 (16-for-31) against
the Royals. ... When Anderson came out for the second inning with a
1-0 lead, it was the first time since May 16 against Oakland that
he has held the lead as a starter. The Royals lost that game 6-2,
Anderson's fifth straight loss. ... The Orioles walked seven
batters and lead the AL with 412 this season. They are on pace to
walk 742. The club record is 688 in 1954. ... Melvin Mora went
1-for-5, dropping his average to .345, second in the league.