Orioles again start off on wrong foot, lose, 6-5

June 21, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

Seven innings, 15 hits, 12 earned runs, three home runs.

Those are the two-day starting pitching totals for the Orioles, who bank on ace Mike Mussina to give the bullpen a rest tonight.

One day after No. 5 starter Mike Oquist didn't survive the third inning, No. 4 starter Jamie Moyer didn't make it out of the fifth and the Orioles lost, 6-5, in the opener of a three-game series played before 46,262 at Camden Yards.

The Milwaukee Brewers rapped 10 of their 13 hits off Moyer (2-5, 5.83 ERA), who allowed six earned runs in 4 1/3 innings.

Forced to play catch-up, the Orioles couldn't overcome the Brewers' four-run first highlighted by two-run home runs from Greg Vaughn and Dave Nilsson.

Consequently on a night when the Orioles turned four double plays, got another terrific relief outing from Mark Eichhorn (four shutout innings, four strikeouts), and a three-hit, one-homer night from Harold Baines, they still lost the game and ground in the standings.

The New York Yankees expanded their lead in the American League East to three games over the second-place Orioles with a 75 win over the Minnesota Twins.

Bill Wegman (5-0) earned the win for the Brewers despite allowing two home runs and 13 base runners by hit or walk in 5 1/3 innings. The Orioles couldn't take advantage, stranding seven runners in the first four innings.

Left-hander Graeme Lloyd earned his third save with two shutout innings.

For the second time in three starts, Moyer didn't make it out of the fifth inning.

Moyer, who has pitched into the seventh in 10 of his 14 starts, lasted 4 1/3 innings, allowed 10 hits, six earned runs and two home runs.

From the outset, it was clear this would not be Moyer's night. In the first inning, he gave up a pair of one-out, two-run home runs, to Vaughn and Nilsson, to put the Orioles behind 4-0 before they got a chance to bat.

The Brewers loaded the bases against Moyer in the second, but he got out of it by getting Vaughn to ground into a double play, ending Vaughn's consecutive home run streak at three at-bats.

Two easy innings later, Moyer ran into trouble in the fifth, when four of the first five Brewers singled, with runs scoring on Brian Harper's hit-and-run single to right and Nilsson's line single to center.

Right-hander Eichhorn came on to face switch-hitter Turner Ward. Or is it former switch-hitter Turner Ward? He decided to bat right-handed against Eichhorn and grounded into a double play.

By that time, the Brewers had taken a 6-2 lead.

Brady Anderson made sure that Wegman's night got off to a bad start. The day after being rested for the first time, at least until a ninth-inning pinch-hitting appearance, Anderson got the Orioles started with a home run to right, his seventh of the season. It trimmed Milwaukee's lead to 4-1.

The Orioles picked up another run in the third, courtesy of Brewers first baseman John Jaha.

Leo Gomez grounded into what should have been an inning-ending double play, but Jaha dropped second baseman Jody Reed's neck-high throw and was charged with his eighth error.

The Orioles used the long ball again in the fifth to cut into a four-run deficit.

After Wegman walked Ripken to start the inning, Baines drove a two-run home run to left. His 10th home run cut Milwaukee's lead to 6-4.

The Orioles threatened to take the lead for the first time in the sixth. Jeffrey Hammonds, who singled his first two times up, reached on a leadoff walk, moved up on Anderson's grounder to first and scored on Sabo's double to left.

Veteran left-hander Jesse Orosco came on to face Rafael Palmeiro and Cal Ripken and showed there still is a sharp slider in that old arm. He struck out both hitters, Palmeiro swinging, and Ripken looking at a pitch that had broke within inches of him. The strike call resulted in a flip of the bat from the surprised Ripken, who had started his trot to first base.

Orosco struck out the only three batters he faced, starting the seventh by retiring Baines on a swinging third strike.

He was replaced by right-hander Jose Mercedes, a former Orioles farmhand.

Mercedes, 24, was selected by the Brewers in the Rule V draft last December when the Orioles decided not to protect him on their 40-man roster and instead protected Mike Cook, who is out of the organization.

Mercedes pitched two-thirds of an inning, allowing a walk, before turning it over to Lloyd.

@

ORIOLES TONIGHT

Opponent: Milwaukee Brewers

Site: Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Time: 7:35

TV/Radio: HTS/WBAL (1090 AM)

Starters: Brewers' Bob Scanlan (0-3, 4.20) vs. Orioles' Mike Mussina (9-4, 2.97)

Tickets: Several hundred scattered singles remain, not including bleacher and 275 standing-room tickets that go on sale when the gates open.

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