Moyer, Orioles wait out Royals K.C. rally in ninth falls short, 6-5, in rainy, 5 1/2 -hour win

July 20, 1993|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

Jamie Moyer spent more time waiting than he did pitching before officially claiming his sixth win of the season last night. At the end, the waiting was the toughest part.

The other half of the Orioles' tantalizing duo of left-handers (which also features Fernando Valenzuela), Moyer allowed only two hits in six innings in a 6-5 win over the Kansas City Royals that was twice interrupted by rain. Moyer outlasted the first delay, but the second forced him out of the game three innings plus 3 1/2 hours before its conclusion.

A series of storms that enveloped Oriole Park delayed the game in the fourth inning, threatening to wash out a three-run home run by Chris Hoiles. Then the big thunder hit two innings later, shortly after Moyer had qualified for the win and moments after rookie Jeffrey Hammonds had joined the homer brigade.

The second interruption provided one of the evening's highlights as the Orioles' grounds crew had trouble re-covering the field. The result was a heavy saturation of the playing surface, which required extensive repair before play could be resumed.

The win was the sixth in the past eight games for the Orioles, who have a 30-12 record since June 2. It wasn't enough, however, to get the Orioles any closer to first place as both the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees were easy winners.

The American League Eastern Division's co-leaders thus remained a half-game ahead of the Orioles, who did break a third-place tie with the Detroit Tigers, who lost to the Minnesota Twins.

In addition to Hoiles and Hammonds, Mike Devereaux, Tim Hulett and Brady Anderson were primary contributors for the Orioles.

Devereaux had two hits, a walk and drove in a run while extending his hitting streak to nine games, Hulett chipped in with three hits, including a pair of doubles, and Anderson had a run-scoring double one swing before rain stopped play for the second time.

For Moyer, who blanked Kansas City, 8-0, two weeks ago today, it was the sixth win in his past seven decisions after an 0-3 start. The only run allowed by the veteran left-hander came shortly after the first delay in the fourth inning. Gary Gaetti's two-out double drove in Greg Gagne, who had opened the inning with a walk.

Moyer (6-4) was an active participant in the game for less than two hours, then had to retire to the clubhouse to wait for the verdict to become official. It wasn't routine.

Gregg Olson, the fourth Orioles reliever, gave up a pinch-hit double to George Brett, an infield hit to Brian McRae and a looping single to pinch hitter Chris Gwynn before claiming his 26th save of the year by striking out Wally Joyner to end the game.

"If you win it's great," Moyer said when asked what it was like to have to wait out the final decision. "You have to give them [the Royals] credit. They could've packed it in, but they came right out [after the second delay] and put the pressure on."

It wasn't until about an hour after the second rain delay that Moyer found out he wouldn't return to the mound.

"I was walking around in here and Boz [pitching coach Dick Bosman] came by and said 'that's it.' "

Dennis Rasmussen (0-2), who failed in an attempt to win a spot with the Orioles as a non-roster spring-training invitee a year ago, was the loser. He pitched the first five innings and was the victim of Hoiles' 19th homer of the year in the third inning.

McRae came up empty in the first inning, but the Orioles didn't. The Kansas City center fielder missed an attempt at a diving catch on Mark McLemore's one-out line drive to right-center field.

Instead of a single, McLemore got a two-base bonus, ending up with a triple. He scored the game's first run when Devereaux continued his hot streak with a single to left-center field.

Three innings later, Rasmussen paid heavily for a lapse of control. With one out, he walked Devereaux and Cal Ripken and went to 2-and-0 on Hoiles. The next pitch ended up deep in the left-center-field seats and the Orioles had a 4-0 lead.

Other than a two-out double by Joyner in the first inning, Moyer did not allow a base runner until Gagne walked to lead off the fourth inning. After Joyner flied to Devereaux in deep center, rain interrupted play for the first time.

Following a 25-minute delay, Moyer struck out Mike Macfarlane, but Gaetti doubled into the left-field corner, scoring Gagne.

The Orioles increased their advantage in the sixth when Hammonds hit the first pitch from reliever Frank DiPino into the left-field seats. It was the rookie's third home run of the year.

One out later, Hulett lofted a double down the right-field line that Hubie Brooks couldn't run down. Harold Reynolds struck out, but Anderson lined a double into the alley in left-center field and Hulett crossed the plate with the Orioles' sixth run.

At that point the thunderstorms made a return visit to torment the grounds crew. Water-logged from the first covering, the tarpaulin proved too heavy to drag completely across the infield.

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