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O's finally do number on Yanks, 13-2

So this is what it takes to beat the New York Yankees.

After seven unsuccessful tries, Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli had to wonder.

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Then last night, his club finally experienced a breakthrough against New York's band of traveling all-stars.

Somehow it seemed fitting that a trio of lesser-known players - Erik Bedard, Jason Grimsley and David Newhan - made the biggest difference, as the Orioles rolled to a 13-2 victory before 41,678 at Camden Yards.

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Mazzilli is on the other end of this lopsided rivalry now. His old team has a $185 million payroll, and to compete with them with a club making $55 million, it's going to take some special performances like those.

Bedard (2-2) turned in five solid innings, Grimsley pitched his new club out of a big jam in the sixth, and Newhan set career highs with four hits and three RBIs, as the Orioles had a season-high 17 hits and stopped a nine-game losing streak against the Yankees that stretched back to last year.

"It's good to break the ice," Mazzilli said. "To be honest, you don't want to keep losing. After the last week, getting a win right now - no matter who we play - is crucial."

The Orioles have gone 5-15 in their past 20 games. Mazzilli is much more concerned about that than their 31-75 record against the Yankees, dating to the middle of the 1997 season.

Rebuilding confidence takes time.

The Orioles hadn't reached double figures in runs scored since Memorial Day, but they jumped on Yankees starter Jon Lieber (5-5) for three runs in the first inning and four more in the fourth.

Bedard held the Yankees to two runs (one earned) on seven hits in five-plus innings. Once again it was a performance that left the Orioles wanting more. Bedard has allowed two runs or less in nine of his 12 starts this season. But he has pitched six or more innings just twice.

"He got a little tired," Mazzilli said, "But I think that's the best I've seen him the whole year. He went after it with conviction. He had a good fastball, mixed it up, and we haven't seen that in the past."

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With a 7-2 lead, Bedard opened the sixth inning by allowing a walk, a single and another walk. With the rookie's pitch count at 105, Mazzilli turned to Grimsley.

In his first appearance since coming over from Kansas City in the trade that sent highly touted prospect Denny Bautista to the Royals, Grimsley showed exactly why the Orioles got him.

Relying solely on his 92-mph sinker, Grimsley recorded three quick outs against the bottom of the Yankees' order, striking out Ruben Sierra and Tony Clark, and getting Miguel Cairo to ground out harmlessly to second.

The crowd gave Grimsley a loud ovation as he walked off the field.

"That," Mazzilli said, "was the whole turning point."

The Orioles have had a hard time protecting middle-inning leads this season, especially since Rodrigo Lopez moved into the starting rotation on May 20. But Grimsley gave them some new assurance.

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He's a pitcher who wants the ball every game. And if it's bases loaded with no outs, so be it.

"I don't mind pitching in those situations at all," Grimsley said.

Miguel Tejada went 3-for-5 with a double, home run (No. 12 on the season) and four RBIs (raising his season total to 58).

But once again, the biggest surprise was Newhan.

At this time last week, he was stuck in Triple-A for the Texas Rangers, but he continued to do a solid job filling in for injured third baseman Melvin Mora.

Newhan got the Orioles started with a run-scoring triple in the first inning and finished 4-for-5, raising his average to .563. When he came to the plate in the ninth inning, seeking his fifth hit, the crowd offered warm applause, and the fans cheered him again, even after he struck out.

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Asked whether he would be finding ways to keep Newhan's left-handed bat in the lineup, Mazzilli said, "Oh yeah. When a guy's hitting .600, you're gonna find a way. ... I'm happy for the kid. I really am. He's a scrappy player, my type of player."

Newhan, who has been through two shoulder surgeries in the past three years, said he's not overly concerned about finding a permanent place in the lineup.

"I think earlier, when I was in San Diego and Philadelphia, I got caught up in that," he said. "Right now, I think God's directing me. He has opened this door, and I just want to walk through it standing as tall as I can."


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