BALTIMORE (AP) -- During a season that long ago went sour, the
Toronto Blue Jays have found happiness in one place: Camden Yards.
The Blue Jays are 38-40 at home and 27-50 on the road, but in
Baltimore they're 6-1. Toronto swept the Orioles in a three-game
set last month and started this four-game series looking nothing
like a last-place club.
"If you go through the motions, people can tell and they label
you as losers," interim manager John Gibbons said. "I haven't
seen any of that. The guys are responding pretty good, but it would
be nice to finish on a good note going into the offseason."
Melvin Mora went 3-for-4 with a homer for the Orioles, whose
four-game winning streak ended. The defeat means Baltimore (74-81)
will complete a seventh straight season without a winning record.
"We just have to keep our heads high, finish strong and see
what happens," Orioles starter Sidney Ponson said.
Ponson (11-15) allowed three runs and nine hits in six innings,
falling to 8-3 since the All-Star break. The right-hander gave up
six hits in the first two innings, but managed to pitch through the
sixth for the 15th straight time.
"I couldn't throw my breaking pitch for a strike, and when they
know a fastball's coming they can jump on it," he said.
Zaun homered on an 0-2 fastball in the second inning to put the
Blue Jays up 2-1, and that was enough on a night in which the
Orioles could manage only seven hits against five Toronto pitchers.
Pitching for the second time since ending a two-month stint on
the disabled list with a sore shoulder, Toronto starter Roy
Halladay allowed one run and four hits before being pulled after
throwing 70 pitches in three innings.
He was replaced by Bob File, who entered with a 3-1 lead. He
blanked the Orioles in the fourth but was yanked in the fifth when
Baltimore put runners on first and third with one out.
"I didn't know I got the win until after the game," he said.
"I'm just happy being up here, but the win makes me feel great."
Besides hitting two singles and a double, Hudson also reached on
a walk and was hit by a pitch during a perfect night at the plate.
But he was more delighted with the victory than adding five points
to his batting average.
"It's a big game for the whole team, not just me," he said.
"Three hits don't mean anything, but it's a big thing to finish up
The Blue Jays got four hits in the first inning, including an
RBI single by Alexis Rios, but Carlos Delgado was thrown out at the
plate by right fielder David Newhan trying to score on a single by
Mora tied it in the bottom half with his 27th home run, but Zaun
put Toronto in front for good in the second.
Hudson hit a two-out RBI single in the fourth to make it 3-1. By
the end of the inning, Ponson had thrown 90 pitches.
Toronto added an unearned run in the eighth when Orioles pitcher
John Parrish threw wildly on a pickoff attempt and Hinske hit an
Tejada went 0-for-4 after being selected AL player of the
week for Sept. 20-26. ... Halladay had won eight straight starts
against Baltimore. ... Palmeiro had two hits for the Orioles,
including a double that was his 1,158th extra-base hit, moving him
past Carl Yastrzemski into sole possession of eighth place on the