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Gomez's homer lifts Orioles past White Sox, 5-4 11th-inning loss ends White Sox streak at 7

The Baltimore Orioles just kept coming back last night. They came back from a strange and costly umpiring decision in the fourth inning. They came back from two late-inning deficits. And they came back to avert a four-game sweep with an 11-inning, 5-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox at Memorial Stadium.

Leo Gomez delivered the final shot, a one-out homer to left off reliever Donn Pall that broke the White Sox's seven-game winning streak. Randy Milligan and Chris Hoiles each brought the Orioles from behind in regulation -- Hoiles' one-out moonshot in the ninth sending the game into extra innings.

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The Orioles apparently were determined not to let a strange umpiring decision in the fourth inning carry them to a season-high sixth straight loss.

Here's what happened:

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The Orioles were down by a run and had runners at second and third with one out when Hoiles hit a chopper down the third-base line. The ball was ruled foul by third-base umpire Jim McKean as third baseman Robin Ventura fielded it and Randy Milligan rushed back to the sanctuary of third base.

Ventura appeared to tag Milligan too late and then threw late to first, all of which appeared to be irrelevant until plate umpire Vic Voltaggio overruled McKean and ruled the ball fair, apparently leaving the bases loaded. But after the two umpires conferred, McKean ruled that Ventura had tagged out Milligan, which sent Orioles manager John Oates into a rage. The video replay was inconclusive in determining whether the ball was fair or foul, but it seemed apparent that Milligan was safely back on the bag before Ventura pushed a glove into his chest. McKean was directly behind Ventura at the time and made no signal that Milligan was out until after he conferred with Voltaggio.

"The thing that upsets me is I'd like to see a conclusive replayand there isn't one," McKean said. "I'd like to know if we got it right.

"Our main objective was to get it right. We start out with fair or four and the whole play starts from there. We can eliminate the play at the bag until we get fair or foul decided. I don't have to

worry about [Milligan] if it's foul."

Oates put on a show for the Memorial Stadium crowd of 25,975, earning his second ejection in six days. He was thrown out of last Tuesday night's game by Derryl Cousins for arguing balls and strikes, but never seemed to lose his temper.

This time, he looked more like former Orioles manager Earl Weaver than he might have liked, even to the point of kicking up some dirt in disgust before leaving the game.

"I have the benefit of looking at the replay," a calmer Oates said later, "and I can tell you one thing. The ball was behind the bag and it's my understanding that that is the third base umpire's call, so it should have been a foul ball.

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"They put themselves in a predicament by making two calls. I think McKean had the play right in the first place."

The Orioles went much more quietly in that inning, but came back to tie the game when Milligan homered off Chicago starter Jack McDowell in the sixth inning. The White Sox took the lead again in the eighth, but Hoiles tied it with a mammoth home run off stopper Bobby Thigpen with one out in the bottom of the ninth.

Gomez has been in a lengthy slump, but he lined a forkball from Pall into the Orioles bullpen to give reliever Gregg Olson his second victory of the year.

"I was just looking for a base hit," Gomez said. "I've been struggling the past few weeks and Chris Hoiles has been swinging the bat well. I just wanted to hit a double maybe and let him drive me in."

The Orioles, Gomez said, were not distracted by the strange turn of events in the fourth inning, though the call took them out of a promising situation.

"Everybody knew it was a bad call," he said. "Everybody just pulled together. Nobody put their heads down."

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Orioles right-hander Ben McDonald went nine solid innings, but was fortunate to avoid his eighth loss in 13 decisions. McDowell also came up empty after coming within two outs of becoming the major leagues' second 15-game winner.

McDonald gave up four runs on five hits and became the first Orioles pitcher to go nine innings since he did it last himself, on May 17. That was 78 games ago. But he would have been a loser if Hoiles home run had not snapped a 32 1/3 -inning scoreless string by the White Sox bullpen.

McDowell already had faced the Orioles three times this season, most recently on Aug. 3, when he gave up six runs on 10 hits over two-plus inning in a 6-3 loss at Comiskey Park.

He had won the first two games, including a 9-1 victory here on Opening Day that turned out to be a sign of things to come, but the Orioles were looking for an early knockout to even things up last night.

They didn't get it, but they got two runs in the first inning. Joe Orsulak and Cal Ripken lined back-to-back one-out singles to right center to put runners at first and third. Sam Horn followed with a bouncer to short that seemed destined to end the inning, but Ripken broke up the double play and Orsulak scored to give the Orioles the lead.

Rookie outfielder Chito Martinez drove in the second run with a line drive double into the right field corner. It was Martinez' 11th RBI of the season.

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McDonald looked sharp through the first three innings, though a traffic jam involving McKean in the left field foul area may have cost the Orioles a run.

Right fielder Warren Newson sent a two-out pop fly toward the tarp, but Gomez ran into McKean as he circled under the ball. Newson took advantage of the new opportunity to slice a line drive over the left field fence for his second home run of the season.

The game started to come apart for the Orioles in the fourth, when the White Sox scored two runs in the top of the inning and the disputed call at third base quelled a Baltimore rally in the bottom of it.

Orioles-White Sox scoring

Orioles first: Devereaux lined out to shortstop Guillen. Orsulak singled to center. C.Ripken singled to center, Orsulak to third. Horn grounded into fielder's choice, shortstop Guillen to second baseman Fletcher, Orsulak scored, C.Ripken forced at second. Milligan walked, Horn to second. Martinez doubled to right, Horn scored, Milligan to third. Gomez fouled out to first baseman Kittle. 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 2 left on. Orioles 2, White Sox 0.

White Sox second: Fisk grounded out to third baseman Gomez. Kittle grounded out to third baseman Gomez. Newson homered to left on 3-2 count. Johnson flied out to right fielder Martinez. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 left on. Orioles 2, White Sox 1.

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White Sox fourth: Thomas walked. Fisk doubled down the left-field line, Thomas to third. Kittle hit sacrifice fly to center fielder Devereaux, Thomas scored, Fisk to third. Newson struck out. Johnson singled to right, Fisk scored. Fletcher grounded out to third baseman Gomez. 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 left on. White Sox 3, Orioles 2.

Orioles sixth: Horn grounded out to first baseman Kittle. Milligan homered to left-center on 0-0 count. Martinez flied out to center fielder Johnson. Gomez struck out. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 left on. Orioles 3, White Sox 3.

White Sox eighth: Guillen doubled down the right-field line. Raines grounded out to second baseman Bell, Guillen to third. Ventura singled to left, Guillen scored. Thomas grounded into double play, second baseman Bell to shortstop C.Ripken to first baseman Milligan. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 0 left on. White Sox 4, Orioles 3.

Orioles ninth: Ventura to first base, batting 2nd. Grebeck to third base, batting 5th. Gomez flied out to center fielder Johnson. Hoiles homered to left on 0-0 count. Bell flied out to right fielder Huff. Devereaux struck out. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 left on. Orioles 4, White Sox 4.

Orioles 11th: Pall pitching. Segui flied out to left fielder Raines. Gomez homered to left on 3-2 count. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 left on. Orioles 5, White Sox 4.

CHICAGO....... AB... R... H... BI... BB... SO... Avg.

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Raines lf...... 4... 0... 0.... 0.... 1.... 1... .256

Ventura 3b-1b.. 5... 0... 2.... 1.... 0.... 1... .307

Thomas dh...... 4... 1... 0.... 0.... 1.... 1... .320

Fisk c......... 5... 1... 1.... 0.... 0.... 1... .265

Kittle 1b...... 3... 0... 0.... 1.... 0.... 2... .190

Grebeck 3b..... 0... 0... 0.... 0.... 0.... 0... .272

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Newson rf...... 3... 1... 1.... 1.... 0.... 1... .291

Huff rf........ 1... 0... 0.... 0.... 0.... 0... .249

LJohnson cf.... 3... 0... 1.... 1.... 1.... 0... .251

Fletcher 2b.... 4... 0... 0.... 0.... 0.... 0... .193

Guillen ss..... 4... 1... 1.... 0.... 0.... 0... .265

Totals ........36... 4... 6.... 4.... 3.... 7

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BALTIMORE..... ..... AB... R... H... BI... BB... SO... Avg.

Devereaux cf.. ...... 5... 0... 0.... 0.... 0.... 2... .258

Orsulak lf-rf........ 5... 1... 1.... 0.... 0.... 1... .259

CRipken ss.... ...... 5... 0... 2.... 0.... 0.... 2... .322

Horn dh....... ...... 3... 1... 0.... 1.... 0.... 1... .230

a-Evans ph.... ...... 1... 0... 1.... 0.... 0.... 0... .263

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1-BAnderson pr-dh.... 1... 0... 0.... 0.... 0.... 0... .188

Milligan 1b.... ..... 3... 1... 1.... 1.... 2.... 0... .276

ChMartinez rf.. ..... 3... 0... 2.... 1.... 0.... 0... .292

b-Segui ph-lf.. ..... 2... 0... 0.... 0.... 0.... 1... .261

Gomez 3b....... ..... 4... 1... 1.... 1.... 0.... 1... .218

Hoiles c....... ..... 4... 1... 2.... 1.... 0.... 0... .264

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JBell 2b....... ..... 4... 0... 0.... 0.... 0.... 0... .183

Totals......... .... 40... 5.. 10.... 5.... 2.... 8

Chicago.... 010... 200... 010... 00... --... 4... 6... 0

Baltimore.. 200... 001... 001... 01... --... 5.. 10... 0

One out when winning run scored.

a-singled for Horn in the 8th. b-struck out for Martinez in the 8th.

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1-ran for Evans in the 8th.

LOB -- Chicago 3, Baltimore 7. 2B -- Ventura (20), Fisk (19), Guillen (13), ChMartinez (7). HR -- Milligan (13) off McDowell, Gomez (7) off Pall, Hoiles (7) off Thigpen, Newson (2) off McDonald. RBI -- Ventura (69), Kittle (5), Newson (18), LJohnson (32), Horn (45), Milligan (59), ChMartinez (11), Gomez (24), Hoiles (23). SB -- Raines (38). CS -- LJohnson (8). S -- Gomez. SF -- Kittle. GIDP -- Thomas.

Runners left in scoring position -- Chicago 2 (Ventura, Fisk); Baltimore 5 (Orsulak, Segui, Gomez 2, JBell).

Runners moved up -- Raines, Horn, Milligan, JBell.

DP -- Baltimore 1 (JBell, CRipken and Milligan).

Chicago...... IP... H... R... ER... BB... SO... NP... ERA

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McDowell...... 7... 6... 3.... 3.... 2.... 6... 101.. 3.32

MPerez ........ 1/3 ... 0... 0.... 0.... 0.... 0..... 7.. 3.19

Radinsky...... 1/3 ... 1... 0.... 0.... 0.... 0.... 12.. 2.16

Thigpen...... 2 1/3 ... 2... 1.... 1.... 0.... 2.... 24.. 3.14

Pall L, 5-2... 1/3 ... 1... 1.... 1.... 0.... 0.... 11.. 2.30

Baltimore..... IP... H... R... ER... BB... SO... NP... ERA

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McDonald....... 9... 5... 4.... 4.... 3.... 6.. 120... 5.15

Flanagan....... 1 1/3 .. 1... 0.... 0.... 0.... 0... 13... 2.06

Olson W, 2-4.... 2/3 .. 0... 0.... 0.... 0.... 1... 10... 3.27

Inherited runners-scored -- Thigpen 1-0, Olson 1-0.

Umpires -- Home, Voltaggio; First, Hickox; Second, Joyce; Third, McKean.

T -- 3:40. A -- 25,975.

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@

Orioles tonight

Site: Memorial Stadium

Time: 5:05

Rangers starters: Brian Bohanon (1-0, 6.10) and Jose Guzman (7-4, 3.10)

Orioles starters: Bob Milacki (7-6, 4.34) and Stacy Jones (0-0, 2.25)

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

TV: HTS


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