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Sports

Orioles jump on Yankees' Mussina, sidestep 0-4 start

April 7th, 2007 8:00 pm by Associated Press



NEW YORK - Mike Mussina was roughed up in his season debut and Baltimore's revamped bullpen succeeded in its first chance to protect a late lead, helping the Orioles beat the New York Yankees 6-4 Friday night for their first victory of the year.


"If the guys that we added come in and do the job like that all season, we're going to win some games," Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said. "We used everything we had to win the game tonight."


Adam Loewen (1-0) again held New York's powerful lineup in check, Melvin Mora played an outstanding all-around game and Baltimore avoided opening 0-4 for the first time since the 1988 team lost its first 21 games - a major league record to start a season.


"It was really no time to panic. But I just felt like we needed to win a ballgame," Perlozzo said.


Robinson Cano drove in two runs for New York, which dropped its second straight since an opening-day victory over Tampa Bay. The Yankees went 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight at second or third.


Derek Jeter came out in the ninth inning after hobbling around the bases earlier in the game.


Mora got three hits and scored twice. He also had a delayed steal and made a diving catch at third base. Nick Markakis doubled twice and drove in two runs, and Jay Gibbons added a two-run single for Baltimore.


Chris Ray pitched the ninth to get his first save.


Looking for his 240th career win on a 41-degree night, Mussina (0-1) threw 84 pitches in four innings against his former team. He gave up six runs and eight hits - including four doubles.



KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Tony Pena Jr.'s third triple in four games keyed a two-run seventh inning for the Royals.


Justin Verlander, who came into the game with a 3-0 career record and a 0.86 ERA against Kansas City, went six innings and gave up only two hits and one unearned run. He was replaced starting the seventh by Jose Mesa (0-1), and the 17-year veteran gave up a leadoff double to Jason LaRue, Pena's RBI triple and an RBI single to David DeJesus. Mesa recorded only one out in his first appearance as a Tiger before being replaced by Wilfredo Ledezma.


Jorge De La Rosa (1-0) went a career- high seven innings in his first start of the year, and David Riske pitched a perfect ninth for his first save.



ARLINGTON, Texas - Sammy Sosa had a bloop RBI single in the first inning when he was trying to check his swing and the Rangers went on to win their home opener.


It was Sosa's first home game for the Rangers since his rookie season in 1989. After a year out of baseball, he agreed to a minor league deal with Texas and made the team by hitting .408 with five home runs in 17 spring games.


After being swept in a season-opening three-game series at the Los Angeles Angels, the Rangers finally gave rookie manager Ron Washington his first victory.


Robinson Tejeda (1-0) allowed two hits, one of them an infield single, over seven shutout innings. Akinori Otsuka worked the ninth for the save.


The Rangers scored runs in the first two innings off Tim Wakefield (0-1), who gave up three hits over six innings.



ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Akinori Iwamura hit his first major league homer and sprinted home from third base on B.J. Upton's infield single with two outs in the ninth inning to help Tampa Bay win its home opener.


Delmon Young erased a 5-3 deficit with a two-run homer off B.J. Ryan (0-1) in the ninth, then Iwamura laid down a bunt single to finish 4-for-4 and set the stage for an exciting finish. Iwamura raced to third on Elijah Dukes' two-out single and Upton followed with a high chopper to drive in the winning run.


Jae Kuk Ryu (1-0) pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings to get the victory before a crowd of 38,437, just the fifth home sellout in Tampa Bay's 10-season history.


Iwamura, Upton and Ty Wigginton all homered off Toronto starter Gustavo Chacin, who allowed three runs and six hits in six innings.


Troy Glaus homered for the Blue Jays.


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