Chris Hoiles didn't play it coy. He was going for home run No. 30 in his last two at-bats of the 1993 season and he wasn't afraid to admit it.
Hoiles had hit his 29th of the year in the third inning of yesterday's 11-6, season-ending loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. He hit three in his past four games to make a bid to become the second catcher in Orioles history to reach 30.
"I was trying after I hit the first one," said Hoiles, who drove in two runs with the homer and also had a sacrifice fly. "Thirty was on my mind. The last two times, I was going for it."
Instead, he finished the season with a .310 batting average, 29 home runs and 82 RBI, becoming only the fourth catcher in American League history to bat .300 or better and hit 25 or more home runs.
"Hitting 29 home runs was a real thrill for me," he said, "but the RBI were one of my goals from spring training. I wanted to hit better with runners in scoring position."
Ripken goes distance again
Cal Ripken played in every regular-season game for the 11th straight season, extending his consecutive-games streak to 1,897. He was the only AL player to appear in every game this year. Florida Marlins outfielder Jeff Conine was the only NL player to go the distance.
Ripken also tied an AL record when he finished as the league leader in assists. It was the seventh time he has led the league, tying Luis Aparicio and Luke Appling.
Spreading it around
First baseman David Segui drove in his 60th run in the eighth inning, giving the Orioles seven players with 60 or more RBI for the first time in club history. The others were Ripken (90), Mike Devereaux (75), Hoiles (82), Mark McLemore (72), Harold Baines (78) and Brady Anderson (66).
Error streak ends
The Orioles missed a chance to add an unprecedented fifth straight season in which the defense committed fewer than 100 errors.
The Orioles are the only team to have more than two in a row, but their shot at a fifth evaporated when Segui dropped a throw and Mike Pagliarulo misplayed a grounder by Paul Molitor for No. 100.
The Orioles entered the final day as one of four teams with a chance to come in under 100. The Seattle Mariners committed the fewest errors this year (90), the Kansas City Royals had 97 and the Minnesota Twins had 100.
As easy as 1-2-3
Roberto Alomar went 3-for-4 yesterday, enabling the Blue Jays to become the first AL team to have teammates finish 1-2-3 in the batting race. The feat had been performed only twice, the last time exactly 100 years ago.
John Olerud closed at .363, Molitor at .332 and Alomar finished with a career-high .326, one point better than Cleveland's Kenny Lofton.
All-Star workout pays off
The Orioles and Major League Baseball announced yesterday that the $380,000 generated by the Gatorade All-Star Workout will be distributed among a variety of charities, with the bulk of the money staying in Baltimore.
The Johns Hopkins Children's Center and the Baseball Alumni Team each will receive $30,000. The rest will go to the Orioles Children's Charities, which will make grants this year to the Choice Program, the Maryland Special Olympics, the Greater Washington Boys and Girls Clubs and the Magic Me Program.
The funds were generated by gate receipts and a donation of $500 by Gatorade for each of the 42 home runs hit during its home run derby.
Undressing for charity
The Orioles have donated two sets of game jerseys for the Bid For Kids, All-Star memorabilia auction on Friday, Nov. 12. Each player autographed his regular jersey and turned it in after Saturday night's game and did the same with the black jerseys worn yesterday.
The crowd of 45,913 gave the Orioles a final regular-season attendance total of 3,644,869, the seventh-highest by a major-league team ever.
It is, however, only the fourth-highest total of 1993. The Colorado Rockies set an all-time mark with 4,483,350, the Toronto Blue Jays reached 4 million (4,057,947) for the third consecutive season, and the Atlanta Braves drew 3,786,853.
Sign of the day
The anti-Cito Gaston backlash probably reached a head on Saturday night, but a couple of fans took one last parting shot early in yesterday's game, parading around with a sign of the times.
It read: "Beavis and Cito"