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Swisher hits two home runs in rout

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Pressed into service on short notice, Kirk
Saarloos dominated the Baltimore Orioles' potent lineup with
surprising ease.

Saarloos pitched six innings of one-hit ball, and rookie Nick
Swisher hit two of Oakland's four home runs in a 9-0 victory
Wednesday night.

The lone hit against Saarloos was a clean third-inning single to
right by Brian Roberts. The right-hander struck out two, walked
one, hit two batters and permitted only one runner past second
base.

It was an impressive performance against a batting order that
included two players with 500 home runs (Sammy Sosa and Rafael
Palmeiro), the AL's reigning RBI leader (Miguel Tejada) and a
Silver Slugger that hit .340 last year (Melvin Mora).

"When you shut this team down, you must be throwing the ball
well," Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said. "You would think with
this lineup ... But the kid pitched a good game."

Saarloos (1-0) was throwing in place of right-hander Rich
Harden, who was scratched with a blister on his right middle
finger.

"They told me after Saturday's (exhibition) game against the
Giants, `You made the team. We don't know when you're going throw.
It might be Wednesday because of Rich's finger, or it might be
Sunday," Saarloos said.

Unfortunately for the Orioles, it was Wednesday.

"It's a great way to start the season," Saarloos said. "I
felt like I could've located my fastball a little bit better, but I
can't complain."

Not even about missing the chance to throw a no-hitter.

"I came out of the ballgame, and I finally glanced up at the
scoreboard and I only saw one hit. It felt like there were a lot
more because I hit two guys and walked another," he said. "There
were definitely some scoring opportunities for them, so I didn't
really look at it and wish I didn't give it up."

Eric Chavez and Keith Ginter homered for the Athletics, who
effectively bounced back from a 4-0 loss to Baltimore on opening
day. Swisher had three hits and drove in three runs in his first
career multihomer game.

Afterward, however, he preferred to talk about Saarloos.

"Hats off to him, but he's been doing that for years now,"
Swisher said. "I played with him last year in (Triple-A)
Sacramento and then he got to the big leagues and then he ran into
some injuries. You definitely see what he can do when he's
healthy."

Saarloos was followed by Ricardo Rincon, who yielded one hit in
seventh before giving way to 21-year-old Huston Street, who allowed
one hit and a walk in his major league debut. Street ended his
one-inning stint by striking out Sosa with two on and two outs.

"It was fun, it really was," Street said. "You come off the
mound and it kind of sets in. People are giving you high-fives and
you realize that you were just out there playing against big
leaguers. It's pretty exciting."

Street was selected as a compensation pick following the first
round of last June's draft, a selection the A's received for losing
free agent shortstop Miguel Tejada to Baltimore after the 2003
season.

Sosa went 0-for-4, and the Orioles managed only three hits in
their bid to start 2-0 for the first time since 1997.

The Athletics got all the offense they needed in a five-run
second inning against Daniel Cabrera (0-1), who went 12-8 as a
rookie last season.

"Just a bad game," Cabrera said.

"It seemed like he was out of sync," Mazzilli said. "Seemed
like he was a little rattled, I don't know why."

Ginter led off the second with a strikeout, and ended the inning
the same way. In between, Cabrera yielded four hits, a walk and hit
two batters.

With one out and the bases loaded, Mark Kotsay drove in a run
with a groundout. Jason Kendall followed with a two-run single and
Chavez hit a 3-1 pitch into the left-field seats.

Erubiel Durazo then singled, and Scott Hatteberg took a step
toward the mound after being hit in the arm with a pitch. He
instead decided to walk to first base.

Ginter and Swisher hit solo shots in the seventh off Steve Reed,
who was making his debut with the Orioles. Swisher, the son of
former major leaguer Steve Swisher, added a two-run drive off Rick
Bauer in the ninth.

Game notes
The A's placed SS Bobby Crosby (broken rib) on the 15-day
DL. His roster spot was taken by Saarloos. ... Cabrera has a 13.50
ERA after compiling a 1.64 mark in spring training. ... Baltimore
has lost the second game of the season in each of the last six
years.