O's flurry in 11th dusts Royals, 4-2 Hammonds' double wins it after Palmeiro ties it with HR in 9th

K.C. starter angers O's

In snow, hitters chilled until late innings

April 10, 1997|By Joe Strauss | Joe Strauss,SUN STAFF

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- For eight innings last night, the Kansas City Royals toyed with the Orioles and visibly enjoyed the experience. Seldom has payback been so gratifying.

Frustrated and repeatedly taunted by demonstrative Royals starter Jose Rosado, the Orioles forced a ninth-inning tie on Rafael Palmeiro's bases-empty home run, then won, 4-2, in the 11th on Jeffrey Hammonds' two-run double against Brian Bevil.

Besides celebrating an end to a two-game mini-slide, the Orioles reveled in taking down the impertinent left-hander Rosado.

"He hasn't won a lot of friends over here," deep-frozen Orioles manager Davey Johnson said of Rosado. "He tried to umpire. He tried to do a lot of things. He's a rookie as far as I'm concerned. But he pitched [quite] a ballgame. You've got to give him that."

Starting for a seventh straight game, Hammonds eased a 3-for-25 funk with his game-winner, making the oft-injured outfielder's satisfaction obvious.

"I feel confident. As long as I'm healthy, I'll be very happy. I just want to keep on playing. You're talking at a guy who hit .226 last year. I saw a lot of slumps last year," he said.

Played in snow flurries, the game waited for Palmeiro and Hammonds thanks to a strong pitching performance involving a four-man bullpen tag team and starter Scott Kamieniecki. While Rosado slam-danced, Kamieniecki quietly enjoyed his longest appearance since 1995.

Rosado, a brash 22, infuriated the Orioles with his pinwheeling dances from the mound to end several innings. With the tying run at second base in the eighth, Rosado froze Brady Anderson on a slider, then leapt away, throwing his arms at the sky.

Rosado defended his actions as youthful exuberance, saying, "I got excited when I struck out Brady Anderson. That was good because I had given up a run and I was able to stay in the game, so I was just happy to get it. I wasn't trying to be a hot dog to him. It was just 'Yes, I got him.' "

Asked if he would encourage his gifted pitcher to tone it down, Royals manager Bob Boone said: "Absolutely not. I don't care if they don't like it. There's nothing I'm going to do about it."

The Orioles remembered well. Despite having thrown 107 pitches through eight innings, Rosado returned to try for a complete game. He advanced only four pitches when Palmeiro wrapped a home run around the right-field foul pole, his second of the year.

Rosado screamed a protest that the ball was foul. Right fielder Jermaine Dye added to the protest. The Orioles' bench, led by Pete Incaviglia, responded in kind, mocking the crestfallen pitcher when Boone lifted him from the game.

Without Palmeiro's home run, his second game-tying blast of the season, the Royals would have ridden their newest Orioles-killer for the win. Shortstop Jay Bell continued his terrorization of Orioles pitching, especially Kamieniecki, with a two-run homer in the sixth inning to break a scoreless game.

Bell has punished Orioles pitching, and especially Kamieniecki. The homer gave him six hits, two home runs and five RBIs in his first 11 at-bats vs. the Orioles. Against Kamieniecki, he is 4-for-6 with 10 total bases and five RBIs.

The Orioles nearly caught up to Rosado's act in the eighth when Chris Hoiles followed Hammonds' one-out walk with an RBI double into the left-field corner. However, Rosado froze Anderson, the league's hottest hitter.

Rosado allowed four hits and two walks in 8 1/3 innings. He outlasted Kamieniecki, but his effort was no more significant.

Rosado taunted the Orioles. Having checked the Orioles for six innings on April 3, surrendering one earned run in six innings, he returned with gusto. "They'd already seen me and know what I got, and I still got them," Rosado said.

This was hardly hitters' weather. Game-time temperature was 42 degrees with a wind chill of 20 degrees. Flurries began in the third inning and intensified later. The brisk conditions seemed to accelerate the game's pace. Batters swung at first pitches. Pitchers thought better than to nibble. Plate umpire Greg Kosc brought along an elastic strike zone. Paid attendance was announced at 12,036, far more than the number who actually showed.

Kamieniecki helped himself escape a potentially messy second inning by picking off Jeff King following a leadoff single. He also overcame Ripken's errant throw that pulled Palmeiro from first base. The error was Ripken's third of the season. (He committed last year's third error on April 30, in game No. 26.)

While Kamieniecki exhibited sleight of hand, Rosado kept the Orioles off balance with his assortment of breaking pitches. Through five innings, the Orioles managed only one hit, B. J. Surhoff's two-out single in the third, and were unable to put a runner into scoring position.

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