Frustrating loss hidden amid hoopla Solid Wells effort wasted in Friday's marathon


Lost amid Eddie Murray's 500th home run and a 2-hour, 20-minute rain delay on Friday was the outcome of the Orioles' game with the Detroit Tigers.

The Orioles lost, 5-4, in 12 innings when reliever Terry Mathews walked two batters, then gave up a two-out RBI single to Bobby Higginson.

The game was close throughout, with the Orioles taking an early one-run lead, then falling behind 3-2, before Murray tied the game with his homer in the seventh inning. That was little consolation when, after 4: 18 of play, the Orioles returned to the dugout without a win.

"That was a tough game," manager Davey Johnson said. "We were having trouble getting stuff going. Eddie hitting the home run got us in the ballgame. We just couldn't muster anything. We couldn't put anything together."

Starter David Wells threw seven strong innings and had what he called one of his best fastballs of the season. After Wells tired, Johnson used five relievers, including closer Randy Myers as well as Armando Benitez and Alan Mills, two other pitchers Johnson uses to save games.

Jesse Orosco also went 1 1/3 innings, though Johnson said Orosco and Myers were available last night. Despite the loss, Johnson said the last three games of the series weren't "must" wins.

"It's not a 'gotta' [win]," Johnson said. "We played hard, it's just that we were worn out. We're not superhuman."

Hammonds still hopeful

Disabled outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds said he still is shooting for a mid-September return.

Hammonds sprained his left knee while stumbling on the subpar outfield grass in Oakland three weeks ago. Hammonds has been getting treatment for his knee and rehabilitating in Baltimore.

"It's still the same thing, mid-September," Hammonds said. "I'm right where I'm supposed to be. I ran for the first time [Friday] and felt OK. It was good. It's improved. Mid-September. Not late, not early . . . mid."

Alomar, Surhoff get rest

Johnson kept both Roberto Alomar and B. J. Surhoff out of the starting lineup yesterday.

Both players have suffered through nagging injuries at different parts of the season. Johnson said the two are healthy.

"[Alomar] has really been dragging and I thought with a day game [today] and a hard thrower [last night] and a soft thrower [today], it was a good chance to rest them. You can't rest everybody, but these guys. . . ."

Alomar is hitting just .226 in his last eight games, with three runs scored and two RBIs. He was replaced at second base by Bill Ripken, who has started just three games since July 19. Newly acquired Pete Incaviglia replaced Surhoff in left field.

Krivda feeling upbeat

Rick Krivda, who will join the Orioles' rotation Wednesday, said he feels much better about his ability now than he did a few weeks ago when he was demoted to Triple-A.

Wells will pitch Tuesday on three days' rest and then Krivda will be inserted, giving Mike Mussina and Rocky Coppinger an extra day of rest as Johnson goes back to a five-man rotation. Krivda said he was very pleased with his progress in three starts with Rochester, including a four-hit shutout in the International League playoffs.

The most important thing, Krivda said, was pitching regularly and getting in his innings. He spent most of the year in the majors, but has thrown just 63 2/3 innings with the Orioles.

"I think all three of my starts helped," Krivda said. "I got an opportunity to pitch every fifth day. I think I needed to get my mechanics back and my control back. It was good to get back into a routine and a starting rotation. It really helped my confidence."

Krivda said he is eagerly awaiting pitching in the pennant race.

"I definitely feel I'm at the point where I was coming out of spring training, when I felt really good," Krivda said. "I'm well rested, I have a chance to pitch up here a few times and give the guys a break. If I can do that, I've done my job."

Around the horn

Three Orioles -- Brady Anderson (100), Bobby Bonilla (103) and Rafael Palmeiro (125) -- have reached 100 RBIs, tying a club record. Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson and Boog Powell all reached that plateau in 1966. . . . Rochester took a 2-1 lead in the playoff series with Pawtucket Friday with an 8-7 win. Last night's game was rained out.

Pub Date: 9/08/96

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