Originally created 04/18/99

Wells wins third in row to lead Jays past Orioles



TORONTO -- David Wells won his third straight start, and the Toronto Blue Jays extended their winning streak to four Saturday with a 7-4 victory over the slumping Baltimore Orioles.

Wells (3-0) gave up two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked three, and also hit Albert Belle with a pitch in apparent retaliation for an earlier brushback.

The 35-year-old lefty has a 3.55 ERA, along with 21 strikeouts and only four walks this season. Wells, acquired in February from the New York Yankees in the trade for Roger Clemens, slowed an Orioles lineup that had been averaging 10 hits and more than five runs per game.

Despite a $78 million payroll, the second-highest in the major leagues, the Orioles are 3-8 and off to their worst start since 1988, when they lost a major league-record 21 games to start the season.