It was another well-pitched game that went astray.
With 31,488 fans coveting a victory on an ideal spring night, the Baltimore Orioles wasted another good effort by their pitching staff, losing for the fifth time in six games, 5-2, to the Milwaukee Brewers at Memorial Stadium.
Jeff Robinson and his relief corps did an excellent job of restricting the scoring despite 12 Milwaukee hits until the ninth inning, when two runs scored on a peculiar play and the Brewers put the game away with three overall.
With runners on second and third, two out and Gregg Olson pitching, Gary Sheffield hit a topper to third base. Craig Worthington had to fire off-balance to first, pulling Randy Milligan off the bag.
Milligan fell face first to stop the ball and couldn't recover in time as Paul Molitor sped all the way home from second, beating a late throw to the plate.
Robin Yount followed with a run-scoring single for the final blow.
The Orioles offense again mustered little punch.
Don August and his relief held Baltimore to seven hits, the only damaging blows the fifth home run of the season by Cal Ripken and successive doubles by Ripken and Dwight Evans in the ninth.
The Brewers finally chased Robinson in the seventh despite another outfield assist by Joe Orsulak, who threw out B.J. Surhoff at the plate after Paul Molitor singled to left. Of the Orioles' six outfield assists, four have been by Orsulak.
It came after consecutive hits by Surhoff, Bill Spiers and Molitor. Manager Frank Robinson visited the mound after the reprieve, but on the next pitch, Jeff Robinson surrendered a two-run double by Jim Gantner to right-center and then left the game.
Mark Williamson came in to retire Sheffield on a pop-up and hold the Brewers' lead to 2-0.
In the bottom half, Milwaukee manager Tom Trebelhorn used three pitchers after August yielded Cal Ripken's bases-empty home run to start the inning.
Three groundouts resulted, as August got Dwight Evans, Mark Lee retired Leo Gomez and Chuck Crim ended the inning against Milligan.
The fast-paced game sailed into the seventh inning scoreless with Robinson dueling August, who never has lost to the Orioles.
Milwaukee mustered scoring chances all night, leaving six on base in the first six innings and squandering a bases-loaded opportunity in the first.
Molitor led off the game with a single inside the third-base bag, and, with two out, Jeff Robinson walked Robin Yount and Franklin Stubbs.
But Robinson retired Dante Bichette on a fly to Mike Devereaux at the warning track in center to escape the uprising.
Milwaukee also moved a man into scoring position on Robinson's two-base throwing error on Stubbs' topper in the sixth.
Bichette again flied to center to end the inning.
Singles by Surhoff, Sheffield and Greg Vaughn were wasted by the Brewers, who have beaten the Orioles four of five times this season.
The Orioles mounted little offense against August, who was recalled from the minors April 11 when Candy Maldonado went on the disabled list.
August retired the first six batters he faced before Worthington reached on an infield single, a high chopper that Gantner threw away, allowing Worthington to reach second.
The error by Gantner was only the fourth in the last 13 games by the Brewers, whose defense has been a downfall in recent years.
But August retired the next three men without an advance by the runner.
Orsulak singled to lead off the Oriole fourth and was erased on a double play. Sam Horn singled to lead off the fifth, but got no further.
August had dropped six straight major-league decisions, with his last victory coming Sept. 23, 1989, against Toronto.
The game featured several unusual twists. A wounded pigeon fell from the sky and landed in foul territory along the third-base line before Surhoff singled in the second inning.
But the bird was recovered by field attendant Ernie Tyler and was reported resting comfortably in a patch of ivy under the scoreboard.
PTC A large crowd responded to a Diamond Vision encore of "That Old Time Rock and Roll" with Rick Dempsey with a standing ovation for the former Orioles catcher.