Ripken's 4 hits, Klingenbeck help O's end skid, 5-4

June 20, 1995|By Brad Snyder | Brad Snyder,Sun Staff Writer

The Orioles did something they haven't been able to do during the course of their seven-game losing streak -- they hit well, pitched well and played good defense on the same night.

They also won the game, defeating the New York Yankees, 5-4, before 46,817, the first sellout crowd at Camden Yards since Opening Day.

A first-ballot Hall of Famer was responsible for the hitting part.

Cal Ripken had his second four-hit game of the year. Breaking out of a 2-for-24 slump, he doubled twice, singled and tripled.

Ripken's second double came one bounce away from going over the fence on the fly -- preventing the nonstop shortstop from hitting for the cycle for the second time in his career.

A player seemingly headed back to Rochester was responsible for the pitching part.

In his fourth major-league start, Scott Klingenbeck gave the Orioles something that Mike Mussina, Ben McDonald and Kevin Brown had not during the skid -- a solid outing.

Klingenbeck pitched six innings, gave up three runs, five hits, three walks and one home run and struck out three.

Even the bullpen came through.

Jesse Orosco -- after giving up a bases-empty homer to Randy Velarde -- struck out four straight hitters. Recent Rochester alumni Terry Clark and Mark Lee pitched in.

Even underworked closer Doug Jones picked up his eighth save.

Danny Tartabull led off the ninth inning with a single, but Tony Fernandez struck out and Velarde's 1-6-3 double-play ball ended the game.

Early on, Klingenbeck looked like he was headed for another beating.

The Cleveland Indians touched him for three runs in three innings in his last start, and the California Angels scored four runs off him in the first inning of his June 9 victory at Camden Yards.

This time the Orioles came up with a big initial inning, and Klingenbeck's defense saved him.

Klingenbeck took a 5-1 lead into the sixth inning -- it was only the sixth time in 17 starts that an Orioles pitcher other than Mussina, McDonald or Brown made it past the fifth inning.

Klingenbeck almost didn't get out of the sixth. Yankees right fielder Paul O'Neill singled to right and catcher Mike Stanley blasted a long home run to deep center field to cut the Orioles' lead to 5-3.

With no outs, Don Mattingly, the next Yankees hitter, blistered one to left-center. But center fielder Curtis Goodwin made a shoestring catch and avoided colliding with Brady Anderson. Klingenbeck made a stab on Tartabull's grounder, and he struck out Tony Fernandez looking to end the inning.

The Yankees pulled within one after Klingenbeck departed when, in the seventh, Velarde lined Orosco's 3-1 pitch over the left-field fence. But Orosco would go on to strike out the next four hitters -- Bernie Williams, Luis Polonia, Wade Boggs and O'Neill before departing.

Early on, Klingenbeck got all the offensive support he needed.

The Orioles sent nine batters to the plate in the first inning.

Anderson started it off with a double off the out-of-town scoreboard. Jeffrey Hammonds singled to right, Rafael Palmeiro singled to left, and Ripken singled up the middle.

With two runs in, New York pitching coach Billy Connors went out to talk with starter Melido Perez. Connors' talk didn't help. Perez walked Harold Baines to load the bases and Jeff Manto singled up the middle to give the Orioles a 3-1 lead.

The Orioles got another run in the third thanks to Ripken's aggressive base running. Ripken drove a ball deep to left field. When a staggering Polonia failed to catch it before it hit the wall, Ripken chugged around to third and scored on a wild pitch.

With the Orioles leading 4-1 after three innings, Hammonds' speed manufactured a fifth when he legged out an infield hit and then scored on Ripken's slicing double to right. Hammonds slid under Stanley's tag and clapped his hands in delight.

In the first inning, the Yankees got one run off Klingenbeck, but it could have been more.

Polonia led off with a single that bounced just in front of Hammonds. With one out, O'Neill doubled. His line drive rolled all the way to the wall in between Goodwin and Hammonds, scoring Polonia and giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead.

Klingenbeck walked the cleanup hitter, Stanley, then got Mattingly to ground into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.

In the second inning, Klingenbeck seemed even shakier but Anderson saved him. With one out, Fernandez singled and Velarde walked. Then Williams hit a shot deep to left field, deeper than Ripken's ball but probably not deep enough to go over the wall.

But unlike Polonia, Anderson made a graceful, leaping catch, crashing into the wall after he caught the ball. No runs scored, and Polonia struck out looking to end the inning.

With his teammates playing strong defense behind him and providing him with a comfortable 4-1 lead, Klingenbeck settled down and gave the Orioles a solid start.

ORIOLES TONIGHT

Opponent: New York Yankees

Site: Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Time: 7:35

TV/Radio: HTS/WBAL (1090 AM)

Starters: Yankees' Sterling Hitchcock (2-4, 5.03) vs. Orioles' Arthur Rhodes (1-2, 8.10)

Tickets: 5,000 remain

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