On Friday the Orioles had eight hits and called it a doubleheader. Yesterday, they had eight hits and called it an inning to remember.
Using a seven-run sixth inning and six RBIs from left fielder B. J. Surhoff to cap their most dramatic rally to date, the Orioles left Camden Yards with a 10-9 victory against the Anaheim Angels, who entered the game with the AL West lead and left numbed by their biggest collapse within an overachieving season.
The comeback allowed the Orioles to increase their AL East lead over the New York Yankees to 4 1/2 games.
"I've been terrible lately, doing nothing at all," Surhoff said. "It was nice to contribute, real nice. Of course, none of it happens unless the guys ahead of me get on base."
Arthur Rhodes (8-3) took the win, but Alan Mills, Jesse Orosco and Armando Benitez held a one-run lead for Randy Myers, who spiced a scoreless ninth with a pickoff of Rickey Henderson for his 36th save, tying him with Rich Gossage for seventh on the career list at 310.
The Orioles hadn't overcome so much -- a fifth-inning six-run deficit, four home runs, a three-inning outing by their starting pitcher -- to win this season.
With starter Rick Krivda yielding three two-run homers, the Orioles fell into a 7-1 hole. Making his third start since being promoted from Rochester July 28, Krivda allowed a two-run homer to Jim Edmonds in the second inning to fall behind 2-1. The homer came in Edmonds' first at-bat since coming off the disabled list earlier in the day.
The Angels kept going in the third inning when Darin Erstad and Tim Salmon hit two-run homers within a span of three hitters. The beating raised Krivda's ERA with the Orioles to 9.49.
Instead of collapsing, the Orioles revived when Angels starter Ken Hill lost control in the fifth and sixth innings. They scored twice in the fifth and seven more in the sixth for their biggest inning of the season.
Surhoff became the game's central figure. His first-inning double gave the Orioles a brief 1-0 lead. In the fifth, he singled with one out to bring the Orioles within 7-3. Then, as the first hitter to face the Angels' bullpen, he drilled a three-run, double into the right-field corner in the sixth inning to pull them within 8-7.
Surhoff's explosion ended a 1-for-15 funk covering his past six games. It also complemented a fine defensive night that saw him throw out Garret Anderson at second base to end the fifth inning and make a sliding catch against Todd Greene to begin the eighth.
The Orioles would love to have Hill right now. Then again, maybe not. Their starting rotation has become a mix-and-match creation thanks to a brownout-induced day-night doubleheader and a pending makeup doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday. The Orioles were pursuing Hill when the Texas Rangers traded him right before their eyes before making his scheduled start here July 29.
At the time of his trade to Anaheim, Hill had won once since May 29. He immediately won his first start for the Angels, was ripped in a loss at Milwaukee, then received no decision in the Angels' 4-3 loss to the Orioles last Sunday.
Hill didn't have to be fine this time. By the time Krivda saw his 14th hitter, the Angels had piled on for three two-run homers and a 6-1 lead.
The hits kept coming in the fifth inning against Rhodes. Anderson bumped the Angels' lead to 7-1 by scoring Dave Hollins on a two-out single.
The Orioles had a chance to recover in the fifth inning but came away with only two runs and another tough at-bat for Rafael Palmeiro.
Hill has long been prone to sudden lapses in control and had another bout while handling a six-run lead. With Mike Bordick at first base with one out, Hill walked Hammonds and Aaron Ledesma to load the bases. Surhoff singled home Bordick and Hammonds before Geronimo Berroa became Hill's third walk in four hitters to reload the bases. Here, Palmeiro wrote the story of his season in one at-bat.
After taking Hill to a full count, Palmeiro topped a double-play grounder to second base. Second baseman Luis Alicea began the turn but shortstop Gary DiSarcina tripped over the sliding Berroa. Yet DiSarcina still had time to right himself and throw out Palmeiro by a step at first base, ending the threat with the Orioles still trailing 7-3.
Palmeiro leads the Orioles in home runs (24) and RBIs (76), but is hitting only .242 with runners in scoring position. He has driven in 22.7 percent of runners in scoring position compared to the team's 24.3 percent proficiency entering last night.
Even though the Angels upped their lead to 8-3 on Greene's home run to lead off the sixth inning, the Orioles wouldn't go away.
Probably because Hill didn't go away.
Manager Terry Collins allowed Hill to create another mess of an inning when Cal Ripken and Chris Hoiles singled to create a first-and-third situation with one out. Hammonds' single loaded the bases before Ledesma walked, scoring Ripken, reloading the bases, putting the tying run at the plate and finally chasing Hill. Too late.
Facing reliever Darrell May, Surhoff broke open the inning by doubling to right field and taking third on Tim Salmon's error. It gave Surhoff his second six-RBI game this season. The inning's eighth hitter, Berroa, tied the game on a single to left field.
Palmeiro continued the inning with a single off the right-field scoreboard, bringing on Mike James as the inning's third pitcher. One pitch after jamming his left wrist on a checked swing, Ripken drilled his second single of the inning to give the Orioles a 9-8 lead. Harold Baines followed with the inning's eighth hit -- equaling the team's production for Friday's doubleheader against Seattle -- to score Palmeiro for a two-run lead.
The Angels were able to counterpunch against Rhodes in the seventh when Henderson reached for a third time on a leadoff walk.
Erstad replaced him on a fielder's choice, then scored when Dave Hollins grounded a one-hopper over Palmeiro into the right-field corner for a triple. Through seven innings, the Angels had scored nine of 11 base runners and it still wasn't enough.
"This team does not dwell on the past," Angels manager Collins said. "I think one of the strengths of this club is that we don't dwell on stuff that's already passed. We've got to come out tomorrow and go out and do the same thing we did today, and that's attack."
Pub Date: 8/17/97