MILWAUKEE -- Ever since the Milwaukee Brewers were reintroduced to the Orioles two weeks ago they've been on a roll. Since then they've won 12 of 15 and exactly half of those victories have come against the Orioles (in seven games).
"I don't know what it is," Orioles manager John Oates said after righthander Bill Wegman beat his club 2-1 yesterday. "In the three years I've been here, they've played against us the same way we've played against Texas."
In sweeping the three-game weekend series, the Brewers trotted out three starting pitchers -- Don August, Jaime Navarro and Wegman -- who are a combined 18-1 against the Orioles. Wegman is 7-1 (with a 4.73 ERA), Navarro is 6-0 and August is 5-0.
"It's hard to explain," said Cal Ripken, whose 26th home run accounted for the Orioles' only score yesterday. "I guess the confidence factor has something to do with it. It's just like certain hitters do better against some teams than others."
Whatever the reason, the Brewers finished the season 10-3 against the Orioles. Only in 1987, when they were 11-2, have the Brewers done better.
Adding insult to injury: Yesterday was only the second time this year the Brewers have won while scoring three runs or less. It was only the fifth time they have won while scoring less than five runs.
* DURABLE MILACKI: Bob Milacki (7-7) pitched into at least the sixth inning for the 12th straight time yesterday to no avail. The big righthander allowed only five hits in 7 1/3 innings.
"He threw the ball very well," Oates said. "The one thing you'd like to take back was the leadoff walk [to Franklin Stubbs] in the eighth inning. Other than that he was fine."
The Brewers had tied the game in the sixth on a pair of singles (the second after Bill Spiers failed on an attempted sacrifice bunt) and three straight infield grounders. The Orioles failed to convert a double play on Paul Molitor's sharply hit grounder when second baseman Bill Ripken's throw was wide following a hard takeout slide by Spiers. Willie Randolph's ensuing high bouncer was too slow for a DP, and drove in the run.
In the eighth, Jim Gantner sacrificed following the walk to Stubbs and Spiers followed with a double to left-centerfield to drive in the winning run. "You don't want to walk him [Spiers] and pitch to a guy who has over 2,000 career hits [Molitor]," said Oates. "Chris Hoiles said it was the only sinker he threw all day that didn't do anything."
* FOR THE RECORD: While on rehabilitation assignment with the Double A Hagerstown Suns, Glenn Davis played seven games. He batted .250 (6-for-24), with one home run and three runs batted in.
Arthur Rhodes was 7-4 for the Suns with a 2.70 earned run average. He was third in the league in ERA and second in strikeouts (115 in 106 2/3 innings). Three of his wins were by the score of 1-0.
* THIS 'N THAT: Joe Orsulak extended his career-high hitting streak to 16 games yesterday. Cal Ripken finished with a .382 average against the Brewers (21-for-55), with five home runs and 14 RBIs.
Bill Ripken, who entered Saturday night's game late, hit safely in his first three at-bats after coming off the disabled list before grounding out in the seventh yesterday. In the ninth, Dwight Evans hit for Bill and lined a single, raising his average as a pinch-hitter to .500 (8-for-16).