O's hit winning note, 3-2


Manager Phil Regan said the Orioles couldn't score runs after the music.

The music played. The fans cheered. And the Orioles scored.

They celebrated Cal Ripken's streak and won, too, ending a four-game skid and a six-game home drought by defeating the Seattle Mariners, 3-2, before 46,731 at Camden Yards last night.

Ripken -- four games away from breaking Lou Gehrig's consecutive-games record -- seems to have become more comfortable with the nightly festivities after the fifth inning.

The fans rose. The clapping started. The number 2,127 was unfurled from the warehouse, causing the crowd to erupt as Ripken took infield practice.

Ripken mouthed the words, "Thank you, thank you" and waved several times to the fans.

All the while the music played.

It was the John Tesh song, "Day One," which sends the Camden Yards crowd into a frenzy and lulls the Orioles' bats to sleep. Actually cries them to sleep, according to Regan.

"Can you get some more emotional music to play in the fifth inning?" Regan joked. "No wonder we haven't scored after the fifth inning. The guys are all crying in the dugout."

There's no crying in baseball, the Orioles learned. They have to score runs. And they did.

The fans celebrated Ripken's impending record and a win, thanks to Kevin Brown's 7 2/3 solid innings, Jesse Orosco's eighth-inning, bases-loaded strikeout of Ken Griffey, and a clutch rally after the music played.

The rally started in the sixth with two outs, after a walk and a double-play grounder by Chris Hoiles. It started with Bret Barberie's single to right and Jarvis Brown's ground-rule double that advanced Barberie to third.

Mariners starter Chris Bosio (9-7) walked Brady Anderson -- who was 0-for-3 -- to pitch to Jeff Huson with the bases loaded.

Huson singled past diving Mariners second baseman Joey Cora, scoring Barberie and Brown and giving the Orioles a 3-1 lead and some much-needed runs after the nightly Ripken celebration.

"Nothing affects the way we play," Huson said. "But the guys are excited about being a part of this. I mean, who wouldn't be?"

Orosco was focused on getting out Griffey with two outs in the eighth inning and the bases loaded.

Griffey, who broke his wrist against the Orioles on May 25 and missed almost three months, entered the at-bat 0-for-7 in the series. He got ahead 3-1 in the count.

Then Orosco ended the inning by blowing two high-80's fastballs by Griffey, whose bat has not caught up to speed since his injury.

"I think he's still feeling the effects of being on the disabled list, but it's still no fun facing him with the bases loaded," Orosco said.

"His timing was off in Seattle and it was off here," he added. "I got lucky to face him at that time."

In the ninth, Orosco walked Edgar Martinez, then got Tino Martinez to ground into a double play. Doug Jones came in for two batters and picked up his 21st save.

"We had to get rid of this voodoo we had going at home," Orosco said.

The Orioles, five games out of the wild-card race, play 12 of their next 15 games at home. They entered the game having lost eight of their previous nine at Camden yards.

Last night they picked up a game and again gave the players hope.

"There's definitely hope," Orosco said. "What are we, six games out? Five tonight."

Kevin Brown (7-8) picked up his second straight win, his first two since June 2.

He gave up five hits and two earned runs, walked one and struck out three.

He left the game in the eighth after giving up a run, three singles and walking Cora to load the bases. Up stepped Griffey and in came Orosco.

"You've got to take your hat off to Jesse, he came in and did a great job," Brown said. "It's a huge lift for myself and the rest of the team."

Brown had his sinkerball working again last night. He retired 12 of the first 20 batters on groundouts and the first 12 in order without giving up a hit.

Edgar Martinez, the American League's leading hitter, broke up Brown's four-inning no-hitter. Martinez sent a 2-0 pitch over the left-field wall for his 26th home run and 101st RBI.

It was just a matter of time for Martinez, who was 0-for-4 Friday against Mike Mussina and has not gone hitless many times this season.

Martinez's .365 batting average is the highest for an American League right-handed hitter since Joe DiMaggio hit .381 in 1939.

It gave the Mariners, who were being outhit, a 1-0 lead.

But the Orioles squandered chances, stranding seven men through six innnings.

Ripken and Harold Baines walked to start the second inning. Hoiles flied out to center and Barberie grounded into a fielder's choice. Jarvis Brown walked to load the bases, but Anderson lined out to right.

Baltimore also didn't score with men on first third and one out in the fourth. Hoiles singled to right, advanced to second on Jay Buhner's error and to third on a wild pitch. Barberie walked. But then Jarvis Brown popped up to shortstop and Anderson grounded out to first.

The Orioles scored their first run and tied the score in the fifth, but they could have scored more.

Huson and Rafael Palmeiro -- who has hit safely in 11 straight games -- led off with singles. Then Bobby Bonilla, who grounded into two double plays Friday, grounded into another, this one to the shortstop, as Huson scored. Ripken lined to center to end the inning with the score tied at 1.

Then the music played, and the Orioles stopped crying and scored two runs.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad