Palmeiro's beat goes on in win Oriole connects in 10th for 2nd winning HR in 2 days to cap 9-8 rally

1-run win O's 3rd in row

Mariners leave town with 17 runs, 2 losses

June 03, 1998|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Two more Orioles pitchers were made into human targets yesterday, one being struck in the groin and the other in the gut. A third nearly caught a piece of wood in the face. On this club, such hits are a badge of honor. On this day, they were nothing compared to the latest beating Rafael Palmeiro laid on Seattle's bullpen.

Palmeiro determined the outcome of a second consecutive game with a home run, this time taking Mariners reliever Bobby Ayala deep in the 10th inning to secure a 9-8 victory before 46,724 at Camden Yards. Cal Ripken, B. J. Surhoff and Brady Anderson also homered, as the Orioles won their third straight one-run game after eight such losses in a row.

Distraught after leaving nine runners on base in Sunday's loss to Texas, Palmeiro rebounded the next night with a tie-breaking homer in the eighth inning and followed it with yesterday's two-run shot to center field. It was the seventh sudden-death win in the six-year history of Camden Yards, and the second by Palmeiro.

"I made a few adjustments. They were real minor. They helped me stay on the ball a little longer," said Palmeiro, who went 7-for-10 in the series, including his first triple yesterday, and sent the Orioles (27-30) to Boston with their seventh win in 10 games.

"I didn't feel good after Sunday, obviously. But I couldn't let it get me down," said Palmeiro. "I came in and looked at the tape and talked to my brother, who knows a lot about my hitting. He noticed a few things and I was able to correct them and it's helped me a lot. I'm not going to say what they are. I'm not !B giving my secrets away."

Seattle's Paul Spoljaric and Heathcliff Slocumb had combined for four perfect innings in relief of Jamie Moyer. After Ken Griffey opened the 10th inning against Norm Charlton (1-1) with his second homer of the day, manager Lou Piniella brought in Ayala (0-5) for the save. Two batters later, he had another loss. Harold Baines led off with a single and Palmeiro drove a 2-1 pitch into the bleachers.

"I'm not getting myself upset anymore. I'm really not," said Piniella, whose 26-31 club continues to be torn apart by an unreliable bullpen. "I'm not getting upset anymore because I'm the one who suffers."

Said Palmeiro: "I hit it pretty well. During the daytime the ball carries better and the wind was going out. All the conditions were right."

The Orioles have been on the wrong side of these blows lately. They've allowed 13 homers in their last four games, and Griffey became the fourth straight opponent to hit multiple homers.

Griffey's second blast, his 21st of the season, came two innings after left-hander Jesse Orosco wriggled out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam to preserve a 7-7 tie. Griffey led off with a liner that struck reliever Arthur Rhodes just below the heart, forcing him from the game with a deep bruise. David Segui pulled a single into left field and Edgar Martinez walked.

But then Orosco assumed command. Pinch hitter Glenallen Hill flied to center field, too shallow for Griffey to tag. Manager Ray Miller allowed Orosco to face another right-handed batter, Russ Davis, and was rewarded with a strikeout. John Marzano then shattered his bat on a tapper back to the mound, part of it just missing Orosco, who swiped at his face with his glove before making the throw.

"I wasn't trying to show anybody up. I was just saying, 'Thanks for not hitting me,' " he said.

Making his fourth appearance in five days, Armando Benitez retired the side in the ninth, pitching effectively despite what Miller called "some torn skin" inside his right middle finger. "He needs a day off," Miller said.

Rhodes was the second Orioles pitcher to be nailed yesterday. Starter Doug Drabek's fourth pitch was sent up the middle on one hop by Joey Cora, the ball ricocheting off the mound and hitting Drabek between the legs.

"I tried to stand up and I couldn't," Drabek said. "It kind of got better as the game went on, but it was still sore."

Both starters left their impressions on the game, each one an ugly mark.

Without a loss since April 26, Drabek served up home runs to Alex Rodriguez and Griffey. He was yanked with one out in the sixth after a run-scoring triple by Rob Ducey into left-center field had shaved the Orioles' lead to 7-6.

A sacrifice fly by Davis tied the game and completed Drabek's line. The seven earned runs off him were a season high, surpassing the six he allowed April 10 in Detroit, and marked the third straight game an Orioles starter has permitted that many. The nine hits also were the most given up by Drabek this year, but he failed to walk a batter for the third consecutive start. The Mariners were content to swing away.

Moyer had his own battles. Normally a thorn in the side of his former team, Moyer wasn't sharp yesterday, matching Drabek with seven runs and nine hits allowed in five innings. He began yesterday 5-1 with a 3.44 ERA in 10 career games against the Orioles.

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