O's top Mariners, 6-5, in 10 behind Voigt's career game

June 05, 1993|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Staff Writer

When the Orioles finally got the kick-start they've been looking for, it came from the most unlikely of places.

Meet Jack Voigt, the Orioles' newest hero.

The Orioles rode Voigt's third hit of the game to a 6-5, sudden-death victory in 10 innings over the Seattle Mariners last night before a sellout crowd of 46,189 at Camden Yards.

Voigt's single to right field scored Mike Devereaux with the winning run and capped an improbable comeback.

As late as the seventh inning, the Orioles trailed 4-1 against Seattle's 6- foot-10 Randy Johnson, who has become one of baseball's dominant pitchers this season.

The improbable comeback started with Voigt's first major league home run, a seventh-inning shot to the bleachers in left field against Johnson.

"This is the most excited I've been all year," said Orioles manager Johnny Oates. "I'll have to wait and watch the film to see who was more excited _ him or me. I went to pat him on the head and hit him on the face.

"We needed a win like this. Who knows what is going to transpire in the next five days or the next month. But I've seen good things come out of wins like this."

Seattle saw only bad things in last night's loss. Wasted in the defeat was Johnson's three-hit performance. He left in the eighth with a 4-2 lead after walking Mark McLemore.

Then there was Norm Charlton, who had a string of nine straight saves snapped in the Orioles' two-run rally to tie in the ninth. In frustration at the end of the inning, Charlton smashed the glass ++ covering of a fire extinguisher in the Mariners' dugout and cut his right, non-pitching hand. It was not believed to be a serious injury, though.

"He punched his right hand into it," said Mariners manager Lou Piniella. "I didn't really know about it. I just heard glass flying."

Russ Swan came on to pitch the 10th for the Mariners and promptly put himself in hot water by walking Devereaux.

Tim Hulett bunted Devereaux to second and David Segui popped to shallow right to put the game in Voigt's hands.

He punched a single in front of right fielder Jay Buhner, whose throw skittered past Seattle catch Bill Hasselman as Devereaux scored.

Voigt, a reserve outfielder, had gone 0-for-8 at Camden Yards before last night, when he was the designated hitter.

He wound up with the ball he hit for his first big league homer, courtesy of bullpen coach Elrod Hendricks.

"Wow," he said as he sat down at his locker to face the media later.

"Randy Johnson can pitch," he said. "He hammered me all night with the fastball. The home-run at-bat, I said if he throws a back-door slider, I'll tip my hat to him. As hard as he was throwing, you can't look for anything but a fastball."

That was what he got on the home-run pitch.

Voigt also drove in the Orioles' first run with an infield single in the second. He hit a dribbler toward first baseman Tino Martinez and then beat him to the bag with a feet-first slide. Devereraux alertly scored from second on the play, beating Martinez' throw home.

Devereaux delivered an eighth-inning single that cut Seattle's lead to 4-3. The Mariners made it 5-3 in the top of the ninth when Henry Cotto hit his second homer of the season to the left-field seats.

Cotto had replaced Ken Griffey, who aggravated a left shoulder injury sliding into first base in the fifth inning. Griffey, who hit his 11th homer of the year against Rick Sutcliffe in the fourth, is questionable for today's game.

The Orioles mounted their ninth-inning rally against Charlton, who had converted 10 of 11 save opportunities this season.

Ex-Mariner Harold Reynolds drilled a one-out single to center to get it started and Brady Anderson walked.

Mark McLemore singled to center to score Reynolds to make it 5-4. Then Cal Ripken lined a sacrifice fly to center fielder Cotto that scored Anderson with the tying run. Chris Hoiles grounded out to send the game to the 10th.

Mark Williamson pitched the 10th for the Orioles and picked up his 38th win as a reliever for the club. That tied him with Stu Miller for fifth place on the Orioles' all-time relief win list.

The real dramatics were left to Voigt, who has gone 6-for-9 in his last two games.

"I come to the park every day thinking I'm in the lineup," he said. "When you get in, you have to do your best. Once I calmed down after the first week or so, I started to settle in and get used to situations.

"I feel I've been contributing the whole time I've been up here. If you feel you're not, you shouldn't be here."

Oates hoped the Orioles have reached their turning point.

"All we had lacked in the past was the hit to put us over the top," he said. "We got the tying run in scoring position in about 19 or 20 games. Hopefully, tonight will be the one to get us on a streak."

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