Strange brew works for Orioles Bullpen, homers, walks too much for Milwaukee, 13-8

August 04, 1993|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

On the scoreboard, it looked like a pickup game to which pitchers were not invited.

The Orioles' 13-8 win over the Milwaukee Brewers may have looked like an old-fashioned slugfest, but there was a lot more to it than that. It was a game that may have been decided in the middle innings -- before the Orioles put up a couple of four-run innings.

Tim Hulett's three-run homer in the second inning was the biggest hit for the Orioles. It came shortly after the Brewers had chased Jamie Moyer, taking a 4-0 lead in the process.

There were many other offensive heroics. David Segui reached base five times on three singles and two walks and tied a club record by scoring four runs. Mark McLemore had four hits and Brady Anderson and Mike Devereaux both finished with three RBI.

But the key to the Orioles' second straight comeback win over the Brewers was relief pitching by Alan Mills and Todd Frohwirth that was almost airtight.

"They kept us in the game by letting us get some whacks without getting too far behind," said manager Johnny Oates. "They kept the game from getting away from us early.

"Long relievers have a thankless job -- they're not needed until they're needed," said Oates, doing his best Casey Stengel impression. The inference was that long relievers often go long periods without being used, which sometimes leads to ugly performances.

"I felt better tonight because of the 2 2/3 innings I pitched the other day [Sunday]," said Frohwirth, who had attributed his ineffectiveness to inactivity earlier.

"I never said it was the better way to win [having to use long relievers on a regular basis]," said Frohwirth (5-4), who got the win. "That's just the way it is.

"When the starters are doing their job and pitching complete games, like they were doing, relievers aren't going to get a lot of work."

Last night, after Mills had allowed only one run (Greg Vaughn's 21st homer), Frohwirth pitched his 2 2/3 scoreless and hitless innings. The two right-handers kept the Brewers from taking charge of the game early.

Eventually, the Orioles engaged in a sixth-inning walk-a-thon that produced four runs and broke a 5-5 tie. Then they broke open the game with four more runs in the seventh.

Hulett provided an almost-perfect answer to Milwaukee's four-run second inning when he hit his first home run of the year in the bottom half of the inning. Suddenly, instead of facing a four-run deficit, the Orioles trailed only 4-3.

"I haven't had many answers this year, so that was a good one. In this case, timing was everything."

Ricky Bones (6-8), whose control eventually failed him, had thrown Hulett a tough pitch, a hard inside fastball one swing before the home run. "I thought I had a good swing at it, but it was a good pitch," said Hulett. "The next one was out over the plate."

With that swing, Hulett changed a game that looked like it might get away from the Orioles before they batted a second time. "He [Bones] tried to go back inside and left it in the middle of the plate," said Milwaukee manager Phil Garner.

"When you're going good that ball's a double play, maybe a triple play. A lot of times you get away with it."

But the Brewers are not going good, having lost six of their past

seven, and what started out so promising ended up just another frustrating evening.

"In the first inning, I thought I'd have a good game," said Bones. "But after that I lost it. I was keeping the ball up. In this park you can't do that, and they [the Orioles] have been hitting the ball well.

"It [Hulett's home run] was a bad pitch at a bad moment. I wanted to go 1-2-3 to give our hitters a chance to stay hot. I couldn't do it. It changed the whole game around."

Although they led 13-5 after seven innings, the Orioles hardly had an easy time of it.

If there was a key play other than Hulett's home run, it was a double-play started by Mills in the second. The Brewers had their lead following a two-run single by ex-Oriole Juan Bell and had runners on first and third.

Kevin Seitzer hit what looked like a routine double-play bouncer to Mills, but the right-hander's throw was down and behind Cal Ripken, coming from his shortstop position to cover second base.

But Ripken managed to make an acrobatic catch and throw to complete the inning-ending double play, saving what could have been a damaging error. From that point, the offense took over.

McLemore's triple set up the tying run in the third, and Harold Reynolds drove in a go-ahead run an inning later, but Vaughn tied it again with his long homer into the left-field seats in the sixth.

Bones and Mike Fetters then combined to walk four straight batters, with a bases-loaded pass to Jeff Tackett forcing across the lead run.

The Orioles scored four times in the sixth and four more in the seventh, making Brad Pennington's first appearance in 12 days and second in three weeks little more than an exercise. The rookie left-hander gave up three runs in the ninth.

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