Wild and wacky keep spelling win for Orioles Another wacky win for Orioles

June 26, 1993|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Staff Writer

One of the great things about baseball is if you stick around long enough, you'll see just about everything.

Last night's Orioles-New York Yankees game had its share of the wild and wacky, including a disputed home run, a bizarre rundown and a rookie making a splashy debut.

Finally, it had the most improbable occurrence: a 7-6 Orioles win after they trailed 6-0.

"It was a strange night, all right," said catcher Chris Hoiles, who drove in the winning run in the 10th with a bases-loaded walk with two out.

The weirdness began in the first, when Yankees first baseman Don Mattingly hit a drive off the groundskeeper's shed in right.

The ball appeared to glance off the padding just in front of the shed and back onto the field, which under Camden Yards ground rules would have put the ball in play.

After a lengthy discussion, the umpires ruled it went off the top of the shed for a home run.

"It is not going to hit the top and bounce up slowly," said right fielder Mark McLemore. "If it hits the top of the cushion, it's going to bounce into the seats. It's a tough call because the padding is green and so is everything else. I know it wasn't a homer."

Despite McLemore's protestations, the Yankees had their first run and went on to chase starter Fernando Valenzuela after 3 1/3 innings.

But the Orioles clawed back, in a fashion reminiscent of their 12-9 comeback win on Tuesday over the Detroit Tigers, thanks in large measure to reliever Alan Mills.

Mills, who came in for Valenzuela in the fourth, pitched NTC masterfully, shutting down the Yankees on two hits with two walks and five strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings.

"When you're a long man, your job is to keep the score close enough to give your team a chance to come back," said Mills. "Nobody wants to get behind 6-1, but the way we're playing, anything's possible."

Cue the ninth inning, where Mills became prophetic. Harold Reynolds singled to lead off and scored on McLemore's triple to right.

McLemore scored on a wild pitch by reliever Steve Farr to tie the score at 6. Cal Ripken then walked, and moved to third when Hoiles singled.

David Segui hit a smash to left, which Hensley Meulens caught, then fired to the plate. Ripken ran halfway home, realized that Meulens' throw would get him and spun back into a rundown.

Catcher Mike Stanley's throw glanced off Ripken, drawing a protest from the Yankees, who claimed Ripken moved into the throw.

"I was just trying to get out of it the best I could," said Ripken.

The Orioles didn't score then, but pushed across the winning run one inning later on Hoiles' walk after Damon Buford's leadoff double.

"Throughout this homestand, it seems like we score when we have to," said Hoiles. "This team believes it can do it. It's a lot more fun right now, because we're beating teams in a lot of ways."

Including the wild and wacky.

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