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Sosa tied for fifth all-time on HR list; Baltimore ends 6-game skid

BALTIMORE (AP) -- After Sammy Sosa tied Frank Robinson for fifth
place on the career home run list, Javy Lopez made sure the
milestone shot was not for naught.

Sosa hit his 586th homer, Lopez snapped a tie with an
eighth-inning drive and the Baltimore Orioles ended a six-game skid
by defeating the Texas Rangers 5-4 Tuesday night.

Luis Matos also connected for the Orioles, who avoided their
longest losing streak of the season by winning for the first time
since July 18.

"I believe that we're going to pick it up," Sosa said.
"There's still a long, long way to go and we still believe in
ourselves."

Sosa gave Baltimore a 4-1 lead in the sixth inning with his 12th
homer of the season, a two-run shot to center. He took his
trademark hop out of the batter's box, but waited near first base
to make sure the drive cleared the wall.

He then thrust his arm outward as the ball landed in the
Baltimore bullpen. He was presented with the ball after the game
and nonchalantly placed it in his locker.

"Right now is no time to celebrate. It's very nice to tie Frank
Robinson, but there's still a lot of baseball left," Sosa said.

It was only his third home run since June 18, but the second in
three games.

"Sammy's starting to swing the bat. He's moved his stance
around a little bit," Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said. "He
isn't so closed off and isn't getting tied up on some balls."

Texas starter Kenny Rogers gave up four runs and eight hits over
seven innings in what could be his final appearance before serving
a suspension for shoving two TV cameramen last month. The
40-year-old went before commissioner Bud Selig on Friday to appeal
the 20-game suspension handed down by Major League Baseball on July
1.

After Rogers left, James Baldwin (0-1) retired the first two
batters before Lopez hit a shot to center. Lopez went 3-for-4 in
his second game since returning from a two-month stint on the
disabled list with a broken hand.

"The first game, I didn't help. This one, I helped the team
win," he said.

Baldwin was picked up by the Rangers last month after being
released by the Orioles.

"It was a fastball that moved back over the plate," he said of
the pitch to Lopez. "You can't throw it down the middle. If you
do, nine guys out of 10 are going to hit it hard."

B.J. Ryan got three outs for his 22nd save.

Baltimore starter Rodrigo Lopez allowed three runs and six hits
in 6 1/3 innings, but his bid to become a 10-game winner was denied
by the bullpen.

Lopez left in the seventh after giving up an RBI double to Gary
Matthews Jr., who scored on David Dellucci's two-out single off
Chris Ray to bring Texas to 4-3.

The Rangers tied it in the eighth. Mark Teixeira beat out an
infield hit off Steve Kline and took second on the pitcher's errant
throw. After a single by Hank Blalock, Teixeira scored on a wild
pitch by Jason Grimsley (1-1).

Matthews went 3-for-4 with a homer and two doubles, and he also
made a sensational leaping catch in center to rob Melvin Mora of an
eighth-inning hit. But Texas lost for the sixth time in seven games
to fall to 3-10 since the All-Star break.

"It just seems like that's the way things have gone for us
lately," Matthews said. "Kenny's been our anchor, but it wasn't
enough tonight."

The Orioles took a 1-0 lead with an unearned run in the first
inning. Miguel Tejada reached second on a two-out throwing error by
Blalock at third before Rafael Palmeiro hit an RBI single.

In the second, Baltimore's Eli Marrero hit a drive to left that
bounced off the wall toward center. Dellucci recovered in time to
throw to shortstop Michael Young, whose relay to catcher Sandy
Alomar ruined Marrero's bid for an inside-the-park homer.

Marrero left the game in the fourth inning after being overcome
by the 98-degree heat.

Matos hit his third home run in the third to make it 2-0, and
Matthews homered in the fifth to bring the Rangers within a run.

Game notes
Orioles RF Jay Gibbons was a late scratch because of back
spasms. He is day-to-day. ... Dellucci drew two walks to raise his
AL-leading total to 62. ... The Rangers battled the heat by wearing
their batting practice jerseys, which have no names on the back.