SEATTLE — With 8 HRs, 26 RBI, Ripken hot amid cold lineup
Average rises to .350, second in league
SEATTLE -- Shortstop Cal Ripken remains the only constant on an inconsistent ballclub, but he could not do it alone yesterday.
Ripken brought the Baltimore Orioles from behind with a two-run double in the third inning and padded the lead with his eighth home run of the year, but the game slipped away in the late innings.
Nevertheless, the three RBI gave Ripken 26 for the year and lifted him into a tie with Oakland Athletics outfielder Dave Henderson for the American League lead. He is tied for second in home runs.
Ripken, whose two-hit performance raised his average to .350, second in the AL, leads the club in all three Triple Crown categories.
Devereaux remains hot
Outfielder Mike Devereaux had two more hits, raising his batting average to .287. He is 16-for-38 (.421) in his past nine games and has reached base 21 times in his past 44 plate appearances (a .477 on-base percentage).
Yesterday's matchup between 6-foot-10 Randy Johnson and 6-7 Ben McDonald was the tallest in major-league history at a combined total of 161 inches. The previous record was set by Johnson and 6-6 California Angels left-hander Chuck Finley on April 10, 1989. It was equaled six days later when Johnson faced 6-6 Minnesota Twins left-hander David West.
Milligan tips hat to Johnson
Randy Milligan is struggling, but he isn't going to punish himself over the called third strike he took with the bases loaded in the first inning.
Johnson threw him a full-count curveball, not the pitch you normally look for in that situation.
"Sometimes, you have to tip your hat to a guy," Milligan said. "The guy threw a great 3-2 pitch. He isn't exactly your average pitcher.
"He has a great curveball and a great fastball, so you have to take one of his pitches away from him there. If I had looked curveball and he threw a fastball by me, I wouldn't have been hitting my pitch."
Difference of opinion
Right fielder Dwight Evans got into a heated argument with umpire Joe Brinkman in the fifth inning, but nothing came of it. Evans apparently was upset about something that Brinkman said after Evans asked him to move out of his line of sight.
Saturday in review
The Orioles ended a three-game losing streak with their most impressive offensive performance of the season, defeating the Mariners, 11-5, Saturday night at the Kingdome.
Craig Worthington drove in three runs with two hits, and %J Devereaux drove in two with a three-hit performance that included his fifth home run of the year.
Right-hander Jose Mesa may have turned in his worst performance of the season, but the Orioles supported him lavishly for the second time in a row. The club has scored 18 runs in his past two starts.
Seattle starter Erik Hanson had to leave the game early with a sore elbow, and Ken Griffey Jr. was removed with an upset stomach, but it looked for a while as if the Orioles would remain snake-bitten. The opposing pitcher has left early because of injury in each of their past three games, but this was the first time they have taken advantage, scoring six runs off two Mariners relievers in the fifth inning.
Reserve outfielder Henry Cotto, who replaced Griffey, hit an inside-the-park home run in the third inning, which seemed to raise the emotional level of the game for both teams. Evans also homered.
When Devereaux threw out Greg Briley in the third inning of Saturday night's game, he raised the Orioles' major-league-leading outfield assist total to 13. Devereaux has three. Joe Orsulak entered yesterday's game leading all major-league outfielders with six. Orioles outfielders have thrown out five runners at the plate in their past 18 games.
The Orioles returned to Baltimore last night and will open a six-game homestand tomorrow with the first of three games against the Oakland Athletics.
The A's series features visits by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, President Bush and commissioner Fay Vincent, among other dignitaries. The homestand concludes with a weekend series against the Angels.
The past seven Orioles home runs have led off innings, and 20 of the past 23 have come with the bases empty. . . . Mesa is the only Orioles pitcher to go 7 innings and win since April 19. He has done it 3 times.