Keys to the game
1. Painful exit. Jamie Moyer, who was 4-0 against the Orioles in the past two seasons, was removed from the game in the fifth because of an injury to his elbow with his team leading 2-1 and Orioles runners on first and second. His replacement, Paul Spoljaric, gave up a two-run double to Roberto Alomar, the first batter he faced, to put the Orioles in front to stay. "It seemed like when he went out, everything turned around," Alomar said.
2. No relief. Going into the series, the biggest difference between the clubs was considered to be their bullpens. That played to form in Game 2. Spoljaric gave up the immediate hit to Alomar and Bobby Ayala was torched for six runs in 1 1/3 innings. The Orioles' bullpen of Armando Benitez, Jesse Orosco and Randy Myers didn't give up a run in 2 1/3 innings. Overall, Seattle's 'pen has allowed 10 earned runs in 8 1/3 innings; Baltimore's 1 run in 4 1/3 .
3. No time to run. With the Mariners trailing 5-2 in the seventh, pinch hitter Rob Ducey put them a run closer with an RBI single to left, but helped take them out of the inning by getting thrown out at second -- easily. Joey Cora followed with a base hit, but Benitez came in to strike out Roberto Kelly to end the inning, with Ken Griffey on deck. The Orioles then broke open the game with a four-run eighth.
Shortstop Mike Bordick, who batted .236 in the regular season, has found his hitting stroke. For the second straight game, Bordick had two hits, two RBIs and two runs scored and seemed to be in the middle or at the start of every Orioles rally.
The Mariners' big four hitters -- Ken Griffey, Edgar Martinez, Alex Rodriguez and Jay Buhner -- haven't been shut down, but their damage has been limited. They're hitting a combined .233 (7-for-30) with three runs scored, five RBIs and seven strikeouts. "They're making good pitches and we're making bad swings," Rodriguez said.
Cal Ripken again had the edge on Griffey in the battle of the Juniors. Ripken had two doubles and made two outstanding plays at third. He robbed Buhner of a hit in the fourth with a diving catch to his right and handled a shot by Cora on a half-hop in the fifth with a runner on first. Griffey had a hit, two steals and an RBI but failed to catch Alomar's drive to center in the fifth.
Power to the left
The Orioles' left-handed hitters turned up the power. Brady Anderson hit a two-run homer and an RBI double, Alomar produced a two-run double and Harold Baines hit a bases-empty homer.
Orioles starter Scott Erickson, who allowed three runs in 6 2/3 innings, faced 28 batters and threw a first-pitch strike to 23 of them.
Not safe at home
Geronimo Berroa and Bordick were thrown out at the plate -- one on a bizarre play and one on perfect execution by the Mariners. Berroa was on first when Ripken hit a double off the right-field wall and tried to score when Buhner, the right fielder, couldn't initially locate the ball after it came off the wall. Buhner found it in plenty of time for the Mariners to get Berroa at the plate. Bordick tried to score on Anderson's double in the eighth and was out when Rodriguez made a perfect relay throw to catcher Dan Wilson.
Mariners shortstop Rodriguez: "They came into our house and dominated us for two days."
Asked if he was OK after sliding into Seattle catcher Dan Wilson, Bordick said: "I think so. I don't think I was going fast enough to get hurt. At least, that's what Brady says."
What they're saying
Buster Olney, New York Times: The Orioles need to win only one of three games at Camden Yards to clinch a berth in the American League Championship Series that starts Wednesday, and the Mariners, in their current state, pose little resistance. Jamie Moyer, the left-hander who started yesterday, was Seattle's best weapon against the Orioles, and Lou Piniella acknowledged that Moyer won't pitch again in this series.
Pub Date: 10/03/97