O's pile it on, top Yankees again, 12-10 Come from behind, win 6th in a row

June 27, 1993|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

It figured to be one of the biggest homestands of the year for the Orioles, but it has been more than that. It has turned into a magical misery tour for two of their top rivals in the American League East.

The division-leading Detroit Tigers left town demoralized after a dramatic three-game sweep cost them sole possession of first place. Now, the New York Yankees are on the verge of going down just as hard, after a 12-10 loss last night at Camden Yards.

What else can go right? The Orioles came from behind again with a four-run rally in the fifth inning and pounded out 16 hits on the way to their sixth straight victory.

The Orioles are 5-for-5 so far on this homestand, guaranteeing them a winning record on a nine-game stand that still has one game remaining against the Yankees and three against the defending World Series champion Toronto Blue Jays.

The Yankees are still trying to figure out what hit them. They blew a six-run lead in the series opener and let a three-run lead get away last night. The Orioles scored in six consecutive innings on the way to their 19th victory in their past 22 game

This time, it was a three-run double by David Segui that put them over the top, but there also was another tremendous performance by catcher Chris Hoiles, who hit two more home runs in his sixth straight multiple-hit game.

Then there was Jeffrey Hammonds, who doubled and hit his first major-league home run in only his second appearance since being called up from the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings on Friday night. The selout crowd of 46, 202 gave him a deafening standing ovation.

It was a great night to be anyone but a starting pitcher. The 11-game winning streak of previously undefeated Bob Wickman was ended after he gave up seven runs in 4 2/3 innings. Orioles starter Jamie Moyer also took a beating, but the Orioles bullpen held things together just well enough to get out with a victory.

Mark Williamson pitched the middle innings to get the victory and improve his record to 4-1. Jim Poole and Todd Frohwirth carried the game into the ninth, and Gregg Olson finished to record his 21st save.

"These are big games for us, and everybody is performing on the field like they really want it," Hoiles said. "It's all confidence. We've had so many come-from-behind victories that it doesn't matter how many runs we get behind. We keep pecking away and pecking away until we get it done."

Hoiles remains on a tremendous hot streak. He came into the game with a string of five multi-hit performances and kept right on rolling. He had three hits to extend his string of multi-hit games and give him 16 hits, six home runs and 10 RBI in his past six games.

Segui has been almost as impressive. The three-hit game gave him 15 hits in his past 29 at-bats and seven multiple-hit performances in his past 10 games.

The sellout crowd of 46,202 weathered a 21-minute rain delay in the sixth inning to enjoy an offensive extravaganza that included a two-team total of 31 hits. Rookie left-hander John O'Donoghue can only hope that the Yankees have punched themselves out, because he will come up from Rochester to start today's series finale for the Orioles.

"I'm just glad we are at home and have the last at-bat," manager Johnny Oates said. "We kept coming back and they kept coming back and we just outlasted them."

The Orioles came into the game on a tremendous roll, but so did Yankees starter Bob Wickman, who had won 11 straight decisions and had lost just once in his major-league career. The question was, whose luck would hold.

It appeared in the early innings that it would be the Orioles who would improve on an 18-3 run that was the best stretch of 20 or more games by the club since the 1983 World Championship season.

Wickman gave up a leadoff double to Devereaux in the second inning and fell behind when David Segui doubled over the head of center fielder Bernie Williams. The Orioles added a second run in the third when Mark McLemore scored from second on a two-out double by Baines.

Of course, it was far too early to count Wickman out. He has not always pitched well, but he was yet to stay on the hook for a mediocre performance. The Yankees have made a habit of bailing him out for his poor performances, as evidenced by the 10.02 ERA he has in his five no-decisions this year. The offense has made a habit of supporting him regardless, averaging more than seven runs in his 14 starts this year.

Sure enough, the Yankees came storming back with five runs off Moyer in the fourth inning.

The comeback came without warning. Moyer had given up just one hit through the first three innings and appeared to be on the way to another in a series of solid performances. He had pitched poorly just once in his first seven starts for the Orioles, giving up three earned runs or fewer in each of the other six, but last night's performance unraveled in a hurry.

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