ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Sammy Sosa picked up a listless Baltimore club still stunned by the sudden firing of manager Lee Mazzilli on Thursday, hitting a two-run homer as the Orioles beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-1 and snapped a season-worst eight-game losing streak.

Sam Perlozzo won his first game after being promoted from bench coach to interim manager. His first three seasons as a major league coach coincided with Mazzilli’s final three seasons as a player, when both were with the New York Mets from 1987-89.

Rodrigo Lopez (10-6) threw 94 pitches in five innings, allowing a run and two hits while striking out five and walking two. The right-hander was working on three days’ rest after yielding eight runs in 1 1-3 innings last Sunday at Camden Yards against the White Sox.

Jorge Julio took over for Tim Byrdak with two on and two outs in the Angels’ eighth and walked Juan Rivera, loading the bases. But B.J. Ryan struck out pinch-hitter Jose Molina to end the threat, then finished for his 23rd save in 27 attempts.

Rookie Ervin Santana (6-5) allowed four runs – two earned – and four hits over seven innings while tying his career high with seven strikeouts. The right-hander, who won his previous three starts, is 0-4 with an 11.34 ERA in four daytime starts compared to 6-1 with a 2.74 ERA in eight starts at night.

Sosa, who came in batting just .235 with 38 RBIs in his first 86 games with the Orioles, drove a 2-0 pitch into the left-field bullpen in the fourth inning after Javy Lopez was hit by a pitch. Sosa’s 14th homer this season and the 588th of his career increased Baltimore’s lead to 4-0 after Eric Byrnes drove in the first two runs in the third.

Byrnes hit a pop fly to short left field, and the ball fell for a triple as shortstop Orlando Cabrera failed to make an over-the-shoulder catch in front of Garret Anderson near the foul line. A two-base error by Gold Glove first baseman Darin Erstad on Jay Gibbons’ grounder made both runs unearned.

Erstad left after six innings because of inflammation in his right hip. He felt discomfort after catching a popup by Lopez in the middle of the diamond and stumbling off the pitcher’s mound. His error came one inning later.

Vladimir Guerrero drove in the Angels’ run with a fourth-inning single that followed Erstad’s one-out triple over the head of center fielder Luis Matos. The RBI was Guerrero’s 36th in 33 games and 73rd this season. The reigning AL MVP had eight RBIs during the three-game series.

Notes: Baltimore was 78-84 last year in Mazzilli’s first season as a big league manager, and 51-56 this season. No Orioles manager has lasted more than three full seasons since Hall of Famer Earl Weaver ended a 14-year run in 1982. … Sosa has five homers in 104 career at-bats against the Angels. The other four came during his three seasons with the White Sox. … Chone Figgins was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts for the Angels, ending his career-best hitting streak at 13 games. … Molina batted for Angels CF Steve Finley, who was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and stranded a runner in scoring position all three times up.

AP-ES-08-04-05 1957EDT


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