Eichhorn quiets Indians Sabo wins it in 10th, 7-6

June 30, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

CLEVELAND -- Should the Orioles' starting rotation stay on its recent course, Mike Mussina and Ben McDonald might not be the staff's only contenders for 20-win seasons.

Add Mark Eichhorn to the list.

Chris Sabo drove in the winning run in the Orioles' 7-6, 10-inning win over the Cleveland Indians last night, but it never would have reached extra innings if not for the work of Eichhorn.

Earning the victory for the third time on this seven-game road trip that concludes tonight, Eichhorn (5-1) shut out the hot-hitting Indians over 4 2/3 innings.

In his past 21 outings, Eichhorn has allowed two runs in 35 2/3 innings, posting a 0.50 ERA. Lee Smith pitched the 10th to earn his 27th save in 30 opportunities.

Jeffrey Hammonds, Brady Anderson and Sabo strung two-out, 10th-inning singles off losing pitcher Jose Mesa (7-4) to ensure that Eichhorn's effort was not for naught.

Smith made it hold up, though not without surviving a scare when Manny Ramirez hooked a home run depth foul ball with one on and one out before grounding into a double play. The Orioles turned a season-high five double plays.

The Indians have lost four of five at Jacobs Field, where they had won 18 in a row before that slump.

The second-place Orioles, winners of five of their past six games, remained 4 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees in the American League East race.

Long after right-handers Dennis Martinez and Mike Oquist had hit the showers after rough outings, both bullpens restored order.

The game, tied 6-6 through five innings, remained so until the 10th inning.

Eichhorn entered with one on and one out in the fifth and got Jim Thome to ground into a double play, the first of three the Orioles turned behind him.

Eichhorn faced Eddie Murray in the eighth with runners on first and second. Eichhorn got Murray, who had homered, singled and driven in two runs earlier in the night, to ground into an inning-ending double play.

In the ninth, Kenny Lofton dropped a bunt down the third base line and beat Sabo's throw for a single. After Eichhorn made seven throws to first to keep Lofton from getting his 38th stolen base, Omar Vizquel grounded to Rafael Palmeiro for a 3-6-3 double play.

Jose Mesa (English translation Joe Table) was the most effective of two former Orioles right-handers to pitch for the Indians last night. Martinez left a 5-3 deficit in the hands of the bullpen after three innings.

Table, as his Orioles teammates with the Orioles used to call him, retired the first 10 batters he faced after entering with one on and one out in the seventh and didn't allow a hit until Hammonds and Anderson hit two-out singles in the 10th to set up Sabo's game-winner.

Chris Hoiles' fifth-inning home run, his 13th, off Indians right-handed reliever Chad Ogea, was the longest of the Orioles' 14 hits.

Oquist was no match for the relentless and powerful Indians. In 4 1/3 innings, Oquist allowed six earned runs on four walks and seven hits, including Murray's 11th home run, with one on in the first, and Belle's 22nd, with the bases empty in the fifth.

Despite allowing two home runs and 12 base runners, and blowing leads of 2-0, 5-3 and 6-5, Oquist was spared a loss.

The Orioles gained redemption against Martinez, whose best and worst starts of the season have come against the Orioles.

Martinez tossed a three-hit, 10-inning complete game May 6 to defeat the Orioles at Camden Yards in his Baltimore return.

This time, the Orioles knocked Martinez out of the game after three innings. He allowed five earned runs on seven hits and three walks.

Harold Baines and Leo Gomez had run-scoring singles in the first inning and the Orioles scored three runs off Martinez in the third to take a 5-3 advantage. Gomez doubled in a run, Hoiles drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Mark McLemore singled in a run.

Murray, who hit a two-run homer the night Martinez shut down the Orioles, gave Martinez a 3-2 lead in the first inning by lining a 1-0 pitch from Oquist deep into the Orioles' bullpen in right with a runner on.

Lofton had reached on a leadoff single, stolen second, taken third on Omar Vizquel's single to right and scored on Carlos Baerga's sacrifice fly to center.

Murray's home run, his 11th of the season and 452nd of his career, tied him for 19th on the all-time list with Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame left fielder Carl Yastrzemski.

Murray's next trip to the plate was greeted by chants of "Ed-die, Ed-die" from the Jacobs Field customers, who have warmed quickly to the former Orioles great.

Murray lined a 3-0 pitch into right field for a single, prompting Oates to remove Oquist from the game.

The hit came in Murray's 10,007th at-bat, one more than Orioles assistant general manager Frank Robinson needed to hit 586 home runs.

Hoiles' bases-empty home run to left with one out in the fifth had given the Orioles a 6-5 lead. Belle tied it with another mammoth drive in the bottom of the inning.

ORIOLES TONIGHT

Opponent: Cleveland Indians

Site: Jacobs Field, Cleveland

Time: 7:05

TV/Radio: HTS/WBAL (1090 AM)

Starters: Orioles' Jamie Moyer (2-5, 5.56) vs. Indians' Mark Clark (8-2, 4.02)

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