13th is unlucky for Orioles in 6-2 loss to Yankees Go-ahead run scores on disputed walk

September 08, 1992|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

Last night was a bad time for the Orioles to lose control.

Until the eighth inning they had gone 31 straight innings without issuing a walk, but it was a lapse of control that led to a 13-inning, 6-2 loss to the New York Yankees last night at Camden Yards.

Alan Mills, working his third inning of relief, issued a pair of critical walks -- one to Danny Tartabull to start the inning, the other to Andy Stankiewicz to force in the tie-breaking run.

The 3-and-1 pitch to Stankiewicz was hotly disputed by Mills and catcher Chris Hoiles. "I thought it was a strike, but he [umpire Ken Kaiser] thought it was high," said Hoiles. "There's not much you can do about it -- he's the umpire and he's the one calling balls and strikes."

As is his custom, Orioles manager Johnny Oates wouldn't be drawn into any controversy. "I don't talk about the umpires," he said. "I never have, and I never will."

The pitch to Stankiewicz took on added significance when Pat Kelly took a third strike, which he likewise questioned, for the second out. Shortly thereafter, Bernie Williams removed any doubt about the outcome by hitting a three-run triple over the head of right fielder Joe Orsulak.

The only consolation came about an hour later, when the Toronto BlueJays finished a marathon loss of their own, losing, 5-4, to the Kansas City Royals in 12 innings to remain just 1 1/2 games ahead of the Orioles in the American League East.

From the outset, this appeared to be a game that would be decided by pitching mistakes rather than an offensive explosion. And it quickly became evident there wouldn't be too any mistakes.

Starting pitchers Melido Perez and Ben McDonald were masterful, except for occasional long-ball lapses, but neither made it into extra innings.

Rich Monteleone (6-2) pitched three scoreless innings for the Yankees to get the win, and Mills (9-4) took the loss.

Hoiles (18) and Leo Gomez (17), who also had a damaging error, both homered for the Orioles, and Mike Stanley hit his sixth for the Yankees.

The loss was the second straight for the Orioles, but only their third in the last 12 games.

Except for the home runs by Hoiles and Gomez, Perez dominated the Orioles through the nine innings he worked. It was the eighth straight time -- and 11th in his last 12 starts -- that the right-hander lasted at least eight innings.

"He was the key to the game for us," said Yankees manager Buck Showalter. "He was outstanding again."

The Orioles managed only six hits off Perez during the first nine innings, two of them coming from Brady Anderson and Randy Milligan to open the first inning. But Perez answered that threat by sandwiching strikeouts of Mike Devereaux and Glenn Davis around a pickoff of Anderson at second base.

McDonald matched Perez pitch for pitch with one of his strongest outings of the year. His biggest trouble spot came in the second inning, when an error by Gomez provided the Yankees with their first run.

With one out, Mel Hall and Randy Velarde reached on ground singles that didn't reach the outfield untouched. Mark McLemore made a diving stop of Hall's roller through the middle, but couldn't recover in time to make a play.

Velarde's hit went to the opposite side of second base, barely deflecting off the glove of shortstop Cal Ripken, whose diving effort merely slowed the ball down enough to allow Hall to reach third. In that spot, McDonald got Stanley to look at a third strike, but Gomez mishandled a soft bouncer by Stankiewicz that allowed Hall to score.

Kelly followed with a hard grounder over third base on which Gomez made a diving stop, but he bounced a long, hurried throw that Milligan was unable to handle at first base. McDonald survived by getting Bernie Williams to hit into a force play for the third out.

The score remained 1-0 until the sixth, when Hoiles jumped on a 2-and-1 pitch from Perez and hammered it deep into the left-field seats to tie the score. But an inning later McDonald surrendered his major-league-leading 31st homer of the year, a low drive by Stanley that barely cleared the fence in left field before Anderson could attempt to make the catch.

One inning later, Perez again ran into trouble with the leadoff hitter. This time Gomez crunched an 0-and-2 pitch deep down the left-field line and the score was 2-2.

It remained that way until the 13th, but not without some anxious moments for the Orioles. Gregg Olson relieved McDonald in the ninth inning after Velarde walked and the first pitch to Stanley was a ball.

Olson completed the walk, struck out Staniewicz, walked Kelly to load the bases, then got Williams on a soft liner to Ripken at shortstop.

In the 11th, the Yankees had runners on first and third with one out against Mills, following a double by Hall, a sacrifice and an intentional walk to pinch hitter Matt Nokes. But Hall was caught in a rundown after a grounder to Ripken by Stankiewicz and McLemore made a fine running catch on Kelly's looper into short right field.

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