ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Melvin Mora does everything in bunches.
After all, he's the father of 3-year-old quintuplets.
"It's a huge bat in the middle of the lineup and he just makes
us that much tougher," teammate David Newhan said. "You've got to
put him among the top five all-around hitters right now. He's been
incredible to watch."
Mora homered in the first inning against Colon (11-9) and added
a two-run single in the sixth against Brendan Donnelly. He's
batting .346 with 21 homers and 71 RBI, all career highs. Since he
came off the disabled list on July 18, Mora is hitting .344 with
nine homers and 28 RBI.
"The way he's hitting right now, it's tough to pitch to him.
But he's been a tough out the last two years," Colon said through
a translator. "He's a much more mature hitter and has much more
coverage of home plate, which makes him a tough out on each
Lopez won for the fourth time in his last five road starts,
allowing a run and five hits while striking out five and walking
one. The right-hander is 7-5 with a 4.44 ERA in his 14 starts, and
3-2 with a 1.99 ERA in 14 relief appearances.
"You know that he has the ability, and he's done it before,"
manager Lee Mazzilli said. "He was very successful and valuable to
us when he was coming out of the pen early in the year, and now
he's definitely proved that he can pitch in our rotation."
Colon got off to a rocky start and couldn't recover. He gave up
six runs, eight hits and walked a season-high six in 5 1-3 innings
while striking out three. The right-hander had a 2.54 ERA during
his winning streak, which matched the longest of his career.
"Anytime you can get to a guy like that, it says a lot for the
way your team is playing offensively," Baltimore's Larry Bigbie
said. "That isn't easy to do against a guy like him, especially
the way he's been going lately."
Colon surrendered extra-base hits to four of his first five
batters, but the Orioles got only two runs.
Brian Roberts doubled, but was thrown out trying to steal third
by catcher Jose Molina. Colon was a strike away from escaping the
inning unscathed, but Mora homered to left-center on a 2-2 pitch.
The Orioles scored their second run on doubles by Miguel Tejada and
"I don't have anything to blame it on. My location was bad and
my mechanics were fine, I thought," Colon said. "I just did not
spot the ball where I wanted to."
Baltimore increased its lead to 3-0 in the fourth with a pair of
walks, an infield hit by Newhan and some daring baserunning by
Bigbie. Newhan beat the throw to first from shortstop David
Eckstein on a slow bouncer up the middle and Bigbie never broke
stride, beating Darin Erstad's relay throw to the plate.
"I knew the ball was hit softly and I knew that Newhan had good
speed, so I was coming around the base regardless," Bigbie said.
"I didn't think too much about Erstad napping. I just figured I
was going to try and make him make a play on me if Newhan beat the
throw, and I was able to get in there."
Newhan was credited with an RBI, his fifth of the series. Jose
Guillen got the run back in the bottom half with his 22nd homer and
career-high 90th RBI, but the Orioles broke it open with three in
Rob Machado had an RBI single before a sacrifice bunt by Roberts
put runners at second and third. Bigbie and Machado both scored on
Mora's single against Donnelly.
Matt Hensley escaped a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the
ninth when Mercado struck out and Roberts lined into a double play
at first base.
Orioles reliever Todd Williams plunked Vladimir Guerrero
and Garret Anderson with two outs in the eighth. It was the first
time Anderson was hit by a pitch in 3,807 plate appearances and 891
games since Hideki Irabu plunked him on Aug. 25, 1998. Since Anderson last was beaned, 883 different players have been hit ... Mora's
.394 average in day games in the best in the AL. ... Colon, whose
nine complete games last season tied Mark Mulder and Roy Halladay
for the major league lead, has yet to go the distance in 24 starts
with the Angels. He has allowed 30 homers, matching last season's
career-high total with the White Sox. ... Molina has thrown out 17
of 35 potential basestealers this season, while his injury-plagued
brother Bengie has erased only nine of 45.