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O's rising as Blue Jays sink to seventh straight defeat

THE Toronto Blue Jays lost their seventh straight game as Jeremy Guthrie pitched seven strong innings to lead the Baltimore Orioles to a 4-1 win on Monday.

The Blue Jays led the American League East until they fell out of first place on Sunday and Monday's loss put them down to third behind the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.

Toronto was the top hitting team in the major leagues until the skid - the Jays have managed just 11 runs in the seven losses.

"In the first part of the season we were getting a lot of timely hits," Toronto manager Cito Gaston told reporters. "Now we're just not getting hits with guys in scoring position. That will beat you every time."

Gaston said his team will not panic even though the slump now has them 1 1/2 games behind the Red Sox, who the Jays led by 3 1/2 games before losing three straight at Fenway Park last week.

Aubrey Huff drove in two runs for the Orioles, who had lost 14 of their previous 17 games to Toronto, including five of their last six at Camden Yards. Brian Roberts added two hits and scored twice for Baltimore.

"Toronto has given us some hard times in the last couple years, and certainly they are playing good baseball this year," Roberts said. "So for us to beat a good team in our own division, yeah, I think that is something we can build on a little bit."

Guthrie (4-4) gave up seven hits, walked one and struck out four. Guthrie allowed only three runners to reach second base after giving up a first-inning run.

Elsewhere in the AL, it was: Yankees 11, Rangers 1; Tigers 13, Royals 1; Athletics 6, Mariners 1; Indians 11, Rays 10; and White Sox 17, Angels 3.

In the NL, it was: Brewers 1, Cardinals 0, 10 innings; Padres 9, Diamondbacks 7, 10 innings; Dodgers 16, Rockies 6; Reds 8, Astros 5; Giants 8, Braves 2; Marlins 5, Phillies 3; Mets 5, Nationals 2; and Pirates 10, Cubs 8.

In Arlington, Texas, Alex Rodriguez had a perfect response for the hearty boos, matching a career high with five hits to lead the Yankees to victory Texas.

Rodriguez also drove in four runs in his first game in Texas since admitting earlier this year that he used steroids while playing for the Rangers from 2001-03. Phil Hughes tossed eight shutout innings for New York.


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