Orioles have final word in marathon

August 23, 1993|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Staff Writer

The Orioles did a little bit of everything in Saturday night's 12-inning, 4-hour, 43-minute marathon against the Texas Rangers, and most of it was bad.

Before they finally beat the Rangers, 6-5, on Mark McLemore's single to left that scored Jack Voigt, the Orioles:

* Blew a four-run first-inning lead.

* Got nothing out of a bases-loaded, none-out situation in the sixth.

* Surrendered eight extra-base hits, including seven doubles, which tied a Texas team record.

* Saw two base runners get picked off.

"All you can do is shake your head," said Orioles manager Johnny Oates.

And yet, thanks to some clutch pitching by Alan Mills, good outfield defense and a game-tying homer by Harold Reynolds in the ninth to force extra innings, the Orioles snatched back an improbable win.

Mills was impressive, limiting the potent Rangers attack to one hit and striking out five over four innings.

Mills, who blew a save opportunity in his previous appearance, Tuesday in Seattle, had only one rocky inning, the 12th, when he walked the bases loaded.

But he struck out pinch hitter Dan Peltier to end the inning, and strode off the mound determinedly.

"I wasn't out there to prove anything, but I felt like I let the team down the last time I pitched," said Mills. "My slider was working for a while, then it seemed like it got flat at the end, so I went to my fastball."

"It was almost like he wanted to prove something tonight," said Oates. "He was over 90 [mph] and was pumped on every pitch. Short relievers can do that sometimes, but starters can't and middle relievers can't. His body language said he put 100 percent into every pitch."

The Orioles wasted a 4-0 lead provided by by Mike Pagliarulo's first-inning grand slam off Texas starter Nolan Ryan. Julio Franco homered leading off the eighth to tie the score and Dean Palmer scored on a double by Doug Strange.

Things could have been worse, but McLemore cut down Strange attempting to score on Geno Petralli's single to right.

McLemore's throw was in addition to a fine running catch he made in the third to rob Franco of an extra-base hit. Brady Anderson had made a leaping grab to rob Juan Gonzalez of a homer leading off the inning.

But Reynolds gave the Orioles a second chance when he connected off Texas closer Tom Henke to right leading off the ninth, for his second homer of the week, and his third in two weeks.

"I was looking to hit it hard and it went out. I was as excited as you can get," said Reynolds.

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