4 in a row: Horn's hit lifts Orioles in 12th, 5-3

THE BALTIMORE SUN

CLEVELAND -- The Baltimore Orioles spent a week in Cleveland last night, but found that the place is not so important as the people who call it home.

The last-place Cleveland Indians are on the fast track to oblivion, so the Orioles were more than willing to stay a little later to score a 5-3, extra-inning victory and extend their winning streak to a season-high four games.

Designated hitter Sam Horn doubled home Brady Anderson with two out in the top of the 12th inning to cap a three-RBI performance, and Randy Milligan added an RBI single to send Indians stopper Doug Jones to his sixth loss in seven decisions.

Horn had given the Orioles a 2-0 lead in the fourth with his 11th home run of the season, but he struck out with two runners on in the 10th, costing the club a chance to bring the game to an earlier end.

"He got us off to a start," manager John Oates said, "but I think he was disappointed that he over-swung with two guys on the time before. I think he made some adjustments."

Indians reliever Shawn Hillegas had walked Cal Ripken intentionally to get to Horn, who admitted afterward that he had tried to do too much.

"I got so pumped up because he walked Cal to get to me," Horn said, "so I said to myself, 'What better way to get back at him than to hit the ball extremely hard and maybe out of the park?' instead of just concentrating on getting the base hit."

The next time, Horn sliced a double into left-center, and Anderson scored all the way from first base. Milligan provided some insurance.

Orioles reliever Mark Williamson bounced back from two rocky outings in Sunday's doubleheader to pitch 1 1/3 scoreless innings and earn the victory. Gregg Olson also rebounded from a rough outing in Kansas City to pitch a scoreless 12th and record his 13th save.

"Physically, I know they're OK," Oates said. "We get spoiled. These guys do so much, so good, so often for us, it's surprising when they don't. Those two guys are going to be going out there because they've done it before and they'll do it again. But no one ever played the game who could do it every time."

Extra innings apparently agree with the Orioles. It was their third straight extra-inning game -- the first time they have played three straight since 1977 and the first time they have won three straight since 1973. These three lasted a combined total of 12 hours, 12 minutes.

"I don't care how long it takes if we win," Oates said. "I prefer the game to be played in nine innings, but I'll stay all night for a win."

The Indians had come back from a two-run deficit with single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, taking the lead when reliever Todd Frohwirth surrendered a two-out RBI single to Chris James. But the Orioles came back to tie the game in the eighth on Ripken's 15th home run of the season.

The homer cost Indians starter Rod Nichols a chance to get into the win column for the first time in seven starts. He ended up with a no-decision and remains 0-5, even though his 3.52 ERA is far better than that of any member of the Orioles starting rotation.

Nichols battled to a draw with Orioles starter Jeff Robinson, who gave up seven hits over 5 2/3 innings to remain winless since May 29.

Robinson (3-6) struggled with his control in the early innings. He hit James with a pitch in the second and threw three balls to the backstop in the third, but still managed to shut down the Indians offense until the fifth.

He worked into the sixth before a couple of two-out walks convinced Oates that a no-decision would be better than the likely alternative.

The Orioles were coming off a Sunday doubleheader in which they set consecutive season highs for hits and scored a total of 20 runs, but they were not so generous with the offensive support last night.

Horn gave Robinson a two-run lead when he hit a 400-foot shot to right off Nichols that took some of the sting out of a 1-for-18 slump.

It was Horn's first homer since June 12, but he still is averaging a home run every 13.5 at-bats. His 28 RBI tie him with Milligan for second on the club.

The Indians cut the lead in half in the bottom of the fifth, manufacturing a run on two-out singles by Alex Cole and Jerry Browne. Cole made it happen when he stole second on a close play to get into scoring position.

Robinson worked into the sixth before giving up another run on two singles, a sacrifice and an RBI ground out. He left the game after loading the bases with back-to-back two-out walks to Joel Skinner and Felix Fermin.

Left-hander Kevin Hickey came on in relief to get out of the jam retiring pinch hitter Mike Huff on a fielder's choice to end the inning. But Hickey gave up the go-ahead run in the seventh.

Orioles-Indians scoring

Orioles fourth: C.Ripken hit by pitch. Horn homered to right on 0-0 count, C.Ripken and Horn scored. Milligan struck out. Orsulak singled to right center. Hoiles singled to shortstop, Orsulak to second. Hulett lined into double play, second baseman Lewis to shortstop Fermin, Orsulak out. 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 1 left on. Orioles 2, Indians 0.

Indians fifth: Skinner flied out to left fielder Anderson. Fermin grounded out to second baseman B.Ripken. Cole singled to center. Cole stole second. Browne singled to right, Cole scored. Aldrete flied out to center fielder Devereaux. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 left on. Orioles 2, Indians 1.

Indians sixth: Alomar singled to center. Baerga singled to right, Alomar to second. James sacrificed to pitcher Robinson, Alomar to third, Baerga to second. Lewis grounded out to second baseman B.Ripken, Alomar scored, Baerga to third. Skinner walked. Fermin walked, Skinner to second. Hickey relieved Robinson. Huff, pinch hitting for Cole, grounded into fielder's choice, shortstop C.Ripken to second baseman B.Ripken, Fermin forced at second. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 3 left on. Indians 2, Orioles 2.

Indians seventh: Browne struck out. Aldrete tripled to center. Frohwirth relieved Hickey. Alomar grounded out to second baseman B.Ripken. Baerga intentionally walked. James singled to right, Aldrete scored, Baerga to third. Lewis grounded out to pitcher Frohwirth. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 left on. Indians 3, Orioles 2.

Orioles eighth: Allred to right field, batting 2nd. James to left field, batting 6th. Anderson grounded out to first baseman Aldrete. C.Ripken homered to left on 0-0 count. Horn flied out to center fielder Huff. Milligan grounded out to first baseman Aldrete, pitcher Nichols covering. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 left on. Orioles 3, Indians 3.

Orioles 12th: Jones pitching. Devereaux grounded out to third baseman Baerga. Anderson singled to right. C.Ripken flied out to right fielder James. Horn doubled to center, Anderson scored. Milligan singled to center, Horn scored. Orsulak grounded out to first baseman Jacoby. 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 1 left on. Orioles 5, Indians 3.

Orioles tonight

Site: Cleveland Stadium

Time: 7:35

Orioles starter: Jeff Ballard (4-7, 4.21)

Indians starter: Greg Swindell (3-6, 2.70)

Radio: WBAL (1090 AM), WTOP (1500 AM)

TV: HTS

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