Minnesota's Tom Kelly broke one of the unwritten primary rules in the unwritten manager's textbook as the Twins' 15-game winning streak came to an end last night.
Not only that, but Kelly didn't hesitate to intentionally put the winning run on base, said he'd do it again -- and nobody would blame him.
With two outs in the ninth inning, the tying run at second base and first base open, Kelly had relief ace Rick Aguilera walk Cal Ripken to pitch to Randy Milligan. "Cal's hitting .361 and I'm hitting .251," said Milligan. "What would you do if you were the manager?"
Milligan's game-winning two-run double did not cause Kelly to second-guess himself.
"That [walking Ripken] was the right thing to do, I believe. If I had it to do over again, I'd do it. I don't think you want to let Cal beat you."
* BIG BEN COUNTDOWN: Ben McDonald threw four innings (50 pitches) under simulated game conditions yesterday and appears to be moving steadily toward a return to the active list. The big righthander will throw for five minutes in the bullpen tomorrow.
* THIS 'N THAT: Cal Ripken (.361) hit his 14th home run and had his sixth straight multi-hit game last night, the longest such streak by an Oriole since Eddie Murray did it Sept. 10-16, 1980. Rich Dauer had 10 straight multi-hit games in 1978.
The three-game win streak matches the Orioles' longest of the year. They broke a five-game losing streak at home with last night's win. The 12 hits marked the third straight time the Orioles have been in double figures.
Leo Gomez walked twice, but had his 10-game hitting streak stopped. The Orioles are out of last place for the first time since May 11.