In a game neither team deserved, the Orioles pushed across a run in the 14th inning for a 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox early this morning at Oriole Park.
A single by Mike Devereaux with the bases loaded, the fourtsuch opportunity of the night for the Orioles, drove in Leo Gomez with the winning run. The two teams had played 7 1/2 scoreless innings, mixing in some bizarre base-running, before Devereaux ended the 4-hour, 38-minute marathon.
Gomez had opened the inning with a walk, after which Ric Dempsey popped out trying to bunt. Tim Hulett singled to right, sending Gomez to third, and Brady Anderson was walked intentionally to set up the game-winner.
Before they finally broke through against Roberto Hernandez (2-1), the Orioles had left 21 runners on base, bringing to 45 the total they have stranded in the past three games. Alan Mills (6-1), the Orioles' third pitcher, escaped a jam in the 13th to get the win.
"[Coach] Davey Lopes told Brady [Anderson] in that last inninthat he was going to quit if we didn't score," said Orioles manager Johnny Oates. "I was already thinking the same thing in my mind.
"I tried to forget the weekend [in Minnesota when the Orioles lostwice in the final at-bat]," Oates said. "If we would have lost this one, it would have been pretty tough to come out here tomorrow [today] with the same intensity as we had tonight."
As bad as the weekend was, it was nothing like the 10th inninlast night.
Dempsey, who hadn't batted in a major-league game since lasOct. 1, ignited what looked like a game-winning rally with a bunt single down the third-base line. He immediately went to third base when Chicago catcher Ron Karkovice threw the ball into center field on Hulett's attempted sacrifice bunt.
What followed thereafter almost defied description. Right-handeTerry Leach issued an intentional walk to Anderson to load the bases and set up a possible force play at the plate -- and the White Sox got more than they bargained for.
When Devereaux hit a sharp bouncer to second baseman StevSax, Dempsey was an easy out at home. Karkovice thought that was the end of the play, but was stunned to see that Hulett, inexplicably, was only two-thirds of the way to third base.
Umpire Ted Hendry was equally startled, initially calling Hulet // safe, momentarily forgetting that a force play was still in effect. He immediately reversed himself, and Hulett was ruled out on the tail end of the season's weirdest double play.
After Cal Ripken ripped several foul line drives to left field, Leacwalked him to reload the bases. The excruciating inning concluded when Sam Horn's long fly to left carried only to the warning track, where it was caught by Tim Raines.
Not to be outdone, the White Sox joined the Keystone Koproutine -- but not until the 13th inning. Raines greeted Mills with a ground single to right, the first White Sox hit since Robin Ventura's sixth-inning homer tied the score.
On the next pitch, Raines stole second and when Ventura rifled single to right field, the visitors had the table set with the winning run. However, Raines ran through third base coach Terry Bevington's stop sign to challenge Joe Orsulak's throw from deep right field.
Jim Evans first signaled Raines safe, but when Dempsescrambled to his feet and applied the tag, the plate umpire reversed his call, ruling that Raines had missed home plate. An intentional walk to Frank Thomas set up an inning-ending double play grounder off the bat of George Bell, giving the Orioles yet another opportunity, one they capitalized on two innings later.
"There were a a lot of base-running errors by both sides," saiChicago manager Gene Lamont. "Their base-running probably kept us in it and ours did the same thing [for the Orioles]. They had an awful lot of guys left on -- we pitched out of jams all night long."
The Orioles have become experts at creating jams, but have hamore than their share of trouble lately trying to finish off an opponent.
The Orioles had opened last night's game as if it were a carry-over from the Metrodome, where they left 24 runners on base. They had three runners in scoring position with less than two out in the first two innings, but managed only one run, when Chicago starter Kirk McCaskill had a control lapse and walked Orsulak with the bases loaded in the first.
The Orioles' early lead lasted only two innings, as starter BeMcDonald's penchant for giving the extra base haunted him again. Going into the game, 52 of the 101 hits allowed by the right-hander had gone for extra bases, and the pattern continued, although McDonald allowed only four hits in 7 1/3 innings.
The White Sox first hit was Steve Sax's second home run of thyear, leading off the third inning. McDonald avoided further trouble despite a two-out single by Raines, but the White Sox took the lead an inning later.
McDonald dug his own hole by drilling Thomas in the side. Belfollowed with a double down the left-field line and Thomas scored from first base to give the White Sox a 3-2 lead.