ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Orioles' exhibition express was slowed here yesterday -- but Mike Mussina continued to roll like a runaway freight train.
The St. Louis Cardinals used a pair of unearned runs in the eighth inning to beat the Orioles, 3-2, and end their club-record preseason winning streak at eight games.
Left-hander Mike Flanagan, who struggled with his control in the only inning he pitched, was the loser. He gave up a bases-loaded single to Todd Zeile with two outs in the eighth, after first baseman Randy Milligan bobbled a ground ball for an error.
Mussina continued his dominance, allowing only two hits in five innings. He extended his hitless inning streak to 10 1/3 before giving up a second-inning single to Pedro Guerrero. He also allowed an infield single by Andres Galarraga in the fourth inning.
In 14 innings, Mussina has walked two, allowed two hits and has yet to give up a run.
Mark Williamson was touched for three hits and the first St. Louis run before giving way to Flanagan, who gave up three hits and a walk.
The Orioles took a 1-0 lead on back-to-back doubles by Luis Mercedes and Chris Hoiles. After the Cardinals tied it, Cal Ripken's two-out double in the eighth gave the Orioles a 2-1 lead that didn't hold up.
'B' game pitchers perfect
The morning "B" game between the Orioles and Cardinals was called by mutual agreement after seven innings without a run being scored. Jose Mesa, five innings, and Alan Mills, two innings, combined to pitch a perfect game for the Orioles.
Bob Tewksbury pitched four hitless innings for the Cardinals and Mark Clark struck out four and allowed two hits in the last three innings.
Cal Ripken hitting .471
Cal Ripken went 2-for-4 yesterday to raise his preseason batting average to .471. The perennial All-Star shortstop is easily the Orioles' top RBI man with 14 and he also has the top slugging percentage (.639).
Hoiles was the only other player in yesterday's game to get two hits.
Ballard pitches in
Former Oriole Jeff Ballard pitched two scoreless innings against his ex-teammates yesterday. "I think I still have an outside chance," said the left-hander. "There are four or five competing for two spots in the bullpen."
Ballard, who was not offered a contract by the Orioles after last season, is signed to a minor-league contract with the Cardinals. He gave up one hit and walked two yesterday. For the spring, he has allowed 14 hits in nine innings, pitching to a 7.00 ERA with two walks and two strikeouts.
Jordan gains in 'other' sport
Milford Mill graduate Brian Jordan, attempting to follow in the footsteps of Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders as a big-league performer in baseball and football, had a two-out, pinch single to start the Cardinals' winning rally.
Jordan, a defensive backfield mate of Sanders with an $800,000 contract with the Atlanta Falcons, is considered a top prospect and has a chance to win a roster spot with the Cardinals.
Starters' ERA is 1.15
After Mussina's effort yesterday, Orioles starting pitchers have a combined ERA of 1.15.
In 55 innings, the starters have allowed only 33 hits and seven runs, walking 13 and striking out 31.
Sutcliffe to start today
Rick Sutcliffe makes his fourth start of the spring this afternoon when the Orioles entertain the Texas Rangers. Right-hander Roger Pavlik will start for the Rangers.
In his three previous appearances Sutcliffe has allowed eight hits and one run in nine innings. He will attempt to follow the lead of the other starters by going five innings.
Getting off in hurry
The Orioles have scored first in 14 of 16 games and have outscored the opposition 55-12 in the first five innings. Yesterday's loss left the Orioles with a 12-4 exhibition record, their best at this stage of preseason since they had an identical mark in 1963.