Jolting Joe Orsulak gave it a run, but ended up one game short of the Orioles' club record for hitting in consecutive games.
"I feel like I choked, like I let everybody down," Orsulak quipped after going 0-for-4 against Juan Guzman as the Orioles lost, 6-1, to Toronto last night.
Orsulak had hit in 21 straight games, one short of the record set by Doug DeCinces in 1978-79 and matched by Eddie Murray in 1982. "It's not my fault the record was 22," joked Orsulak. "I wish it had been 30.
"It was fun while it lasted," said Orsulak, who got an appreciative round of applause from the crowd of 25,090 after striking out in the eighth inning. "The guy [Guzman] pitched a good game. Now I've got to go out and start another one."
Orsulak's streak wasn't the only one stopped by Guzman last night. Cal Ripken's more modest, but nonetheless season-high 12-gamer also came to a halt on an 0-for-4 night.
* BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: Craig Worthington, whose nightmarish season was ended by a severe hamstring injury, was scheduled to hit in the batting cage this afternoon.
The third baseman, who has been on the Rochester disabled list for the last two months, rein jured himself after losing his job to Leo Gomez and being optioned to the Red Wings.
"He has not missed one rehab workout . . . he's been very diligent about it, and has worked very hard," said Orioles manager John Oates. "He's just now reached the point where he feels like he can swing the bat."
There is, however, virtually no chance Worthington will play any more this year. "I don't think it would be fair to ask him to go out and face major-league pitching after being out that long," said Oates.
* HORN SOUNDS: Although Orsulak and Ripken saw their hitting streaks end, Sam Horn started one of his own, breaking out of an 0-for-16 slump with a pinch-hit single in the eighth inning. It was his first hit since Aug. 9 against Chicago.
* RARE MISS: Could someone else have been in Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken's uniform in the third inning? Rip, who is nearly perfect in the field, committed only his third throwing error in 481 games last night. That's three in 1,474 throws. Mark the calendar. That should do it for the next three years.
* WALK ON WILD SIDE: The Blue Jays didn't do anything spectacular last night. They simply turned four walks and a hit into a 6-1 romp. This is the way Toronto rightfielder Joe Carter saw it.
"Any time you walk that many guys, you're going to get hurt," said Carter. "You walk the bases loaded, we can single you to death. It's like a slow kill. We're not going to go out there and hit grand slams, but a base hit here, a sacrifice fly there, a ground ball out gets a run in. You've got to take advantage of those. When you've got a pitching staff like we do, if we get an early lead, we've almost locked the door."
The Jays have won three straight since the Tigers moved into a first-place tie Saturday.
* THIS N' THAT: The Orioles, in support of the Maryland Stadium Authority and Greater Baltimore Committee, are bringing back the sights and sounds of a Baltimore Colts pre-game show Sunday, Sept. 15. At 12:45 p.m., Harry Shriver, the Colts' public address announcer, will kick things off. Colts Hall of Famers Art Donovan, Lenny Moore and Jim Parker will keep the ball rolling on Blue and White Day, preceding the Birds game with Cleveland . . . The Orioles Advocates and the Orioles, in cooperation with The Baltimore Sun, will salute the "All-Time Orioles Greatest Lineup" as voted by the fans, at a luncheon Oct. 4 at the Omni Inner Harbor Hotel. For ticket information contact Richard Grubbs, 301-252-0268.