McDonald zips past Yanks, 8-1

August 11, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- It often is described as a kids' game, baseball is.

But kids couldn't do what Brady Anderson did last night at Yankee Stadium. Kids couldn't race to the wall to make a running catch as Anderson did in the second inning to deny Don Mattingly of extra bases.

Kids couldn't make another running catch crashing into the padded wall in foul territory as Anderson did three innings later.

And kids couldn't throw precisely placed fastballs clocked consistently at 91 mph as Ben McDonald did in defeating the New York Yankees, 8-1, in front of 38,624.

He extended his scoreless innings streak to 16 before the Yankees scored in the eighth after McDonald departed with forearm cramps.

McDonald's effort came five days after he tossed a one-hit shutout at Milwaukee. McDonald (14-7) allowed five hits and one run, walked none, struck out two, and reached a career high in victories.

His quest for a complete-game shutout ended when he threw his 92nd pitch, with one out in the eighth, shook his arm, and walked into the clubhouse with trainer Richie Bancells.

A kids' game?

Throwing a baseball is a violent action.

A kids' game?

A kid couldn't react to Mike Gallego's ground ball that ricocheted off McDonald the way Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken did. Once again showing a remarkable ability for a man of any size to stop instantly and change directions, the 6-foot-4 Ripken, who had started up the middle, changed directions, bare-handed the ball and threw the runner out.

A kids' game?

Name a kid who could hit major-league pitching the way Rafael Palmeiro did last night. Palmeiro homered, doubled, singled twice and drove in five runs.

There is a chance the game didn't matter, given the standings as they relate to the impending strike, but the Orioles acted as if it mattered. They played a kids' game as only adults can play it.

Earlier in the day, in a different borough of the same city, the adult game of labor negotiations was played. Judging from the amount of progress seemingly made, kids probably could have played it better.

Second baseman Mark McLemore was one of nine Orioles who attended yesterday's negotiating session.

"Waste of time," said McLemore, who held onto a popup for the final out of the seventh, despite being in the middle of a three-man collision.

"A joke," left-hander Jamie Moyer said. "Same thing that happened in spring training. We asked specific questions and they answered them vaguely. They answered questions they wanted to be asked, not the questions we asked."

Later on, same city, different borough. For the third night in a row at a stadium more rich with baseball tradition than any place on earth, an entertaining game was played.

As if driving home the point that the game must go on, the Yankees and Orioles played a series that could have qualified as classic had it taken place with a pennant on the line, at least until the Orioles ran away with last night's game in the late innings.

Labor strife being what it is, two of the Orioles who played big parts in last night's game conceded the AL East race in early August as they rushed to catch their flight.

"Sure we would love to catch the Yankees," said Palmeiro,

whose Orioles trail New York by seven games. "But we have to look at it realistically. We're just hoping to come back soon enough to get a wild-card spot."

McDonald agreed.

"Hopefully, it won't be that long and we can get a wild-card spot," McDonald said.

The Orioles got 10 of their 15 hits off Yankees left-hander Jimmy Key (17-4), who allowed four runs, walked one and struck out five.

Palmeiro's 23rd home run, hit off left-hander Terry Mulholland with two outs and two on in the eighth, gave the Orioles an 8-0 lead, ensuring them of winning the decisive leg of the three-game series.

"We needed to get three wins at Yankee Stadium and we needed to go 10-0," Palmeiro said of the road trip. "We went 7-3, and that's good, but we needed to go 10-0."

The Orioles send Arthur Rhodes to the mound tonight in search of his third straight shutout.

Depending on the anticipated strike, it could be the last 1994 game played at Oriole Park, where the Orioles are 28-27 this year.

Key took the mound in search of his 18th victory last night, but the Orioles were intent on denying him of it, scoring a run in the first and three in the fifth to take a 4-0 lead.

Palmeiro started a two-out rally against Key in the first by singling to right field with two strikes. After Ripken singled, Palmeiro scored on Leo Gomez's ground-rule double.

Key, a leading Cy Young Award contender, shut down the Orioles over the next three innings until the top of the order got to him in the fifth.

Key hit Anderson with a pitch to open the inning and moved to third on Jeffrey Hammonds' double down the left-field line. Delivering his third hit of the night, Palmeiro stroked a double to right that scored Anderson and Hammonds.

Wade Boggs drove in the Yankees' only run, charged to McDonald but coming with Alan Mills on the mound. Pat Kelly scored from third on Boggs' grounder to second.

McDonald beat the Yankees with his best pitch, throwing mostly fastballs. "My curve wasn't that good and the location of my fastball was exceptionally good," McDonald said. "So I just stuck with what was working."

If only McDonald could come up with a pitch that could solve baseball's labor gridlock.

ORIOLES TONIGHT

Opponent: Boston Red Sox

Site: Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Time: 7:35

TV/Radio: HTS/WBAL (1090 AM)

Starters: Red Sox's Aaron Sele (8-7, 3.83) vs. Orioles' Arthur Rhodes (3-5, 5.81)

Tickets: Several hundred remain, not including 183 bleacher and 275 standing-room tickets that go on sale when the gates open.

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