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Milligan gives Orioles boost with sudden surge of power


Orioles manager Johnny Oates and his coaches kept telling Randy Milligan not to worry about hitting home runs. Just drive in runs, they said.

But last night, despite what they said, home runs jumped from Milligan's bat, anyway.

With only eight home runs for the season and one in his previous 54 games, Milligan clubbed two and drove in three runs in the Orioles' 6-4 victory over the California Angels at Camden Yards.

His second shot, with a man on in the seventh inning, brought the Orioles from behind and into a 5-4 lead. Milligan lifted his hands in jubilation as he neared first base, knowing the ball was gone.

"To tell you the truth, I didn't think I was going to hit any more this year," said Milligan, who had his first two-homer game since April 17 against the Detroit Tigers. "The coaches said not to think home run, just to hit the ball hard. They've been telling me that all along.

"After my first homer, I remembered my swing and took it up again, feeling more comfortable."

Even after Milligan's power surge, Oates wasn't about to change his view of him as a hitter.

"We don't consider Randy a home-run threat," Oates said. "He's a contact guy who uses the whole field. He's just a good hitter, period. He can move the ball around. He has a good eye and he's selective."

Milligan's first home run, with the bases empty in the sixth inning, was his first since July 21 -- a span of 30 games.

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