Orioles make it 6 straight Three-run 10th beats Yankees, 6-3

September 25, 1990|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Staff Correspondent

NEW YORK -- Two teams going nowhere slow-clashed at Yankee Stadium last night, and the Baltimore Orioles proved the better marathoner.

In a 4-hour, 5-minute game, the Orioles posted their season-high sixth straight victory, outlasting the New York Yankees, 6-3, with a three-run 10th inning ignited by Cal Ripken's 19th home run.

The Orioles had won five straight July 19-23.

Few of the 17,084 fans still were around when Gregg Olson retired the Yankees in the 10th to gain his 34th save and tie Don Aase's club record, set in 1986.

Ripken connected on a 2-0 pitch from reliever Alan Mills after Lee Guetterman had given the Yankees five innings of two-hit shutout relief, keeping them in contention.

Ripken's second homer in 27 games brought him within one of a ninth consecutive 20-homer season and touched off a family affair in the 10th.

After Mills had walked the bases loaded (one intentional), Bill Ripken ended the suspense with a double to left field that fell just in front of Hensley Meulens to drive in the final two runs.

The victory went to Jose Bautista, who faced only one batter, Jesse Barfield, getting him on a fly to left to end the ninth and force extra innings. It was Bautista's first victory since June 17, 1989.

It was also the second straight victory by the Orioles in extra innings, giving them a 13-4 record, best in the majors.

"You have to credit the pitching," said Orioles manager Frank Robinson. "They have to hold the other team from scoring. After that, it's a matter of getting the key hit."

The Orioles led virtually the entire game, but Curt Schilling blew a save opportunity for the third time in the past two weeks in the bottom of the eighth.

Called on to protect a 3-2 lead provided by starter Jose Mesa, Schilling gave up a run-scoring single to Steve Sax with two out.

Meulens slid in just ahead of Jeff McKnight's throw to the plate, which was slightly off line.

The Orioles are within one game of the fourth-place Cleveland Indians in the American League East. The Orioles and Indians will play four games beginning Thursday.

Former Orioles farmhand Mark Leiter (released in 1988) started for New York in the battle of comeback pitchers.

Leiter missed three seasons after undergoing three operations on his shoulder within 17 months, and Mesa is back in the big leagues for the first time since 1987 after twice having elbow surgery.

Mesa was the more effective and lasted longer, but Leiter was the victim of only one well-hit ball -- Brady Anderson's run-scoring single -- when the Orioles took a 3-0 lead in the second inning.

Two walks, a looping single by Bill Ripken and Leiter's failure to cover first on Steve Finley's infield single contributed to his demise.

Mesa, whose two wins came against the 1-2 teams in the AL East, the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox, was resourceful but erratic.

He pitched out of three jams in his seven innings, but a leadoff double by Sax and run-scoring hits by Don Mattingly and Kevin Maas in the third gave the Yankees their first two runs.

It was the Orioles' eighth win in their past 11 games at Yankee Stadium, and it gave them their longest September winning streak since 1983, when they won the world championship.

They are 11-6 since suffering a season-high six straight defeats through Sept. 5.

Olson has converted 34 of 39 save chances this season and 61 of 72 in his career. He has been having problems since a sore elbow started bothering him several weeks ago, but he allowed only a two-out walk to Velarde last night.

"Breaking the record was a goal I set at the beginning of the year," said Olson. "You can set your sights on 40 or 45 [saves], but that's a little high. This is a goal I thought I could hit."

Kevin Hickey also did a good job in relief by retiring all three batters he faced, including Mattingly and Maas with the game on the line in the ninth.

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