BOSTON -- Under unusual circumstances, the Orioles broke even with the Red Sox and the elements yesterday.
In a rare day-night doubleheader, the Orioles were 7-4 losers in the rain-delayed afternoon game, then won, 4-3, when the second game was halted by a steady downpour in the top of the sixth inning.
Making his debut, Richie Lewis was credited with his first major-league win on a technicality in the nightcap -- and then was reassigned to the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings. Called up specifically to pitch this game, the stocky right-hander pitched only 4 1/3 innings, not enough to qualify under normal conditions. But because the game didn't go at least six innings, that requirement was waived and Lewis got the win.
Immediately after the game, Lewis was informed he was going back to the minor leagues. The Orioles will call up a position player to take his spot on the roster in time for this afternoon's game.
After the Red Sox had ripped reliever Todd Frohwirth for five runs in the seventh inning of the first game, the Orioles used three home runs to out-slug the Red Sox and gain a split.
Glenn Davis, Leo Gomez and catcher Mark Parent, making his first start since being called up from Rochester, homered off Matt Young (0-3) in the shortened second game. Tom Brunansky homered in both games for the Red Sox.
The split left the Orioles 4 1/2 games behind the division leading Toronto Blue Jays, who beat the New York Yankees, 13-2.
The matchup between Lewis and Young in the nightcap looked as if it would result in early exits for the two starters, but both survived until the fifth inning.
Davis' eighth home run of the year, a two-run blast that was the first of the year hit into the center-field bleachers at Fenway Park, gave the Orioles a short-lived 2-0 lead in the first inning. But Mo Vaughn tied it in the bottom of the inning with a booming two-run double.
Gomez answered in the second with his 10th homer, and Parent duplicated the high drive into the left-field screen to give the Orioles a 4-2 lead in the fifth inning.
Rain started falling in the fourth inning, subsided briefly, then increased as the Red Sox chased Lewis in the fifth inning. Brunansky's second homer of the day and 10th of the year made it 4-3 before Vaughn and Jody Reed drew back-to-back walks.
Storm Davis replaced Lewis, and Herm Winningham's single loaded the bases. But Davis got John Marzano to look at a fastball for a third strike and Luis Rivera hit into a force at third base to end the inning.
The Orioles had two runners on base, on a double by Gomez and an intentional walk to David Segui, with one out in the sixth when rain halted play for the second time during the long day. This time it didn't stop and the game didn't restart -- the formula the Orioles needed in the first game, when they were unable to protect a 3-2 lead.
In the afternoon game, Frohwirth made an early entrance because Mussina wore out after six innings. The Orioles had scored three times in the sixth to take the lead, but the right-hander said he didn't think he was the one to protect it.
"I really didn't have good stuff, obviously," said Mussina, who has pitched in the rain in two of his past three starts. "They were hitting the ball hard and making outs. I was very fortunate."
The only two runs Mussina gave up came on a two-out double to left by Billy Hatcher in the fifth inning, set up by John Valentin's bunt single. But the Orioles came right back in the sixth, with the help of two wild pitches by reliever Daryl Irvine.
Starter Danny Darwin had allowed only three hits in the first five innings, before giving up singles to Cal Ripken and Randy Milligan and a double to Joe Orsulak. He was replaced by Irvine with one out in the sixth.
Gomez stuck out, but not until after Milligan scored on the first wild pitch. Then, before Mark McLemore (three hits) tripled to left-center field, Orsulak also scored on a bouncing curveball -- but Jeff Tackett struck out to end the inning.
Mussina escaped in the sixth despite a long drive to right by Vaughn that was caught by Orsulak and a two-out double by Bob Zupcic. Still, it was a surprise when he didn't reappear for the seventh inning.
"It [a pitching change] was the last thing on my mind," said Orioles manager Johnny Oates. "But when Mike came off after the sixth he said, 'If you want me to go back out there I will, but I'm beat.' "
The message was relayed by pitching coach Dick Bosman, and Oates immediately made the switch to Frohwirth. The ensuing rain delay assured the right-hander as much time as he needed to get ready -- but it wasn't enough. "I didn't see the good velocity, the good biting sinker that we saw last year," said
Oates, who stuck with Frohwirth for six batters before finally summoning left-hander Pat Clements to finish the game.
Tony Pena led off the seventh with a walk and went to second on Valentin's sacrifice bunt -- the only out recorded by Frohwirth. In rapid order, the Red Sox stroked four consecutive hits, with Brunansky's ninth homer of the year the clinching blow.
Wade Boggs doubled to right-center field, driving in the tying run, Hatcher got the second of his three hits to give the Red Sox the lead, and Phil Plantier singled.
Frohwirth then further endangered himself by missing with his first two pitches to Brunansky. He didn't miss with the next one, and neither did Brunansky, who had accounted for all of Mussina's strikeouts in his previous three at-bats.
With Alan Mills scheduled to start this afternoon against the Red Sox, Oates was one move short in the bullpen yesterday. That may account for his patience with Frohwirth, who has now given up 10 hits and 10 runs over 2 2/3 innings in his last four games.
"The first four guys in their lineup [Boggs, Hatcher, Plantier and Brunansky] were 1-for-14 against him," said Oates. "But, you can't always go by the numbers. Sometimes you have to go by what you see."
Yesterday, Oates did it by the numbers -- and undoubtedly wishes he'd done otherwise. Nothing worked for Frohwirth, not the numbers or his pitches, and he was stumped while searching for an explanation for his recent slump.
"I wish I could blame it on something," said Frohwirth, "but I feel great. I threw some good sinkers, but they were out of the strike zone. The ones that were strikes looked like they were just sitting there."
And looking mighty inviting to the Red Sox.
Davis on healthy tear
The Orioles' Glenn Davis has missed 164 games during the past two seasons because of injuries, but now is on a career-high 14-game hitting streak. A game-by-game look at Davis' streak, during which he has raised his batting average 52 points:
Date..... AB.... H.... RBI.... Avg.-x
7/17...... 4.... 1..... 2..... .250
7/18...... 3.... 2..... 0..... .259
7/19...... 4.... 1..... 0..... .259
7/20...... 4.... 1..... 1..... .258
7/21...... 3.... 3..... 1..... .273
7/22...... 3.... 2..... 1..... .280
7/23...... 4.... 1..... 0..... .280
7/24...... 4.... 2..... 1..... .285
7/25...... 4.... 2..... 0..... .290
7/26...... 3.... 2..... 0..... .297
7/28...... 4.... 2..... 2..... .301
7/29...... 4.... 2..... 1..... .306
7/30...... 4.... 1..... 0..... .304
7/31...... 5.... 1..... 0..... .302
7/31...... 3.... 1..... 2..... .302
Totals... 56... 24.... 11..... .429-y
x- after each game
y - during streak
How Orioles reliever Todd Frohwirth has fared in his past four
Date Opp. ... W-L... IP... H... ER... IR-S... ERA-x
7/21 Chi. .... L .... 2/3 ... 3.... 3.... 3-3... 1.97
7/23 Tex. ... ND .... 2/3 ... 0.... 0.... 1-0... 1.95
7/25 Tex. ... ND .... 1... 3.... 1.... 0-0... 2.05
7/31 Bos. .... L .... 1/3 ... 4.... 5.... 0-0... 2.67
Totals...... 0-2 ... 2 2/3 .. 10.... 9.... 4-3.. *30.38
IR-S - inherited runners-scored
x - season to date
* - during streak