Ripken gets on track with double off Glavine Fellow Oriole Alomar gets hit off starter Maddux

July 08, 1998|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

DENVER -- By being voted as starters for the American League in last night's 69th All-Star Game, the Orioles' Cal Ripken and Roberto Alomar were given another chance to face Greg Maddux.

Some reward. Better to take one of the Beanie Babies that were being handed out at the gates than stand in against Atlanta's four-time Cy Young winner.

This time, Maddux stuck around for only two innings and Alomar could boast of getting a hit off him. Ripken also had plenty of reason to brag last night at Coors Field, though he waited until a different Braves pitcher had entered.

Ripken doubled off the right-field wall against left-hander Tom Glavine in the fourth inning, scoring two runs and erasing the National League's 2-0 lead. He then came home with the go-ahead run on a bases-loaded walk to Ken Griffey.

Making his ninth appearance in an All-Star game, Alomar was 2-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base and a run scored through six innings. Ripken, in a record 15th consecutive start, was 1-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored through six innings.

The Orioles' other representative, first baseman Rafael Palmeiro, came in in the sixth inning.

Ripken had hit into a double play against Maddux in the second inning, chasing the first pitch and sending a soft one-hopper to second baseman Craig Biggio. Up again with two on and none out in the fourth, he reached for a pitch off the plate and missed a home run by about a foot, the ball hitting just below the yellow stripe in the right-field corner.

Thinking he had delivered his second All-Star home run, Ripken hopped in the air as he watched the flight of the ball after completing his swing. He settled for his 11th hit, and fifth and sixth RBIs, in the midsummer classic.

Alomar and Ripken were seeing Maddux for the first time since his four-hit shutout June 7 at Camden Yards. In that game, Ripken singled in three at-bats and Alomar was 0-for-3.

Batting in the first inning last night, Alomar took the wise approach. He bunted. Better yet, he reached safely.

Alomar beat out a chopper on the right side, his foot coming down on the bag just as Maddux was applying the chest-high tag after taking the throw from first baseman Mark McGwire.

Given the green light, Alomar tried to steal twice on pitches that were fouled off. His third attempt kept the AL out of the double play on a bouncer back to the mound by Juan Gonzalez. The effort was wasted, however, when Maddux escaped a bases-loaded jam by getting a called third strike on Alex Rodriguez.

Glavine replaced his Atlanta teammate in the third inning. Hitting from the right side, Alomar popped up a 2-2 pitch with Lofton on first and none out. He walked in the AL's four-run fourth before Glavine was replaced by former Oriole Kevin Brown, and singled off Biggio's glove leading off the sixth inning for his sixth All-Star hit in 23 at-bats.

Alomar stole third base as part of a double-steal with Thome batting in the sixth, and scored the tying run on a passed ball. He now has five stolen bases in All-Star competition, one shy of Willie Mays' record.

In the field, Alomar turned a double play in the second inning that wiped out Barry Bonds, who had drawn a leadoff walk. But in the third, after the NL loaded the bases with one out, Tony Gwynn sent a grounder toward the middle that kicked off the heel of Alomar's glove as he attempted a lunging, backhanded stop. The ball rolled into shallow center field and two runs scored.

Earlier in the inning, Ripken had charged Glavine's sacrifice bunt and thrown him out. He also caught a pop-up along the line from Larry Walker with runners on the corners and none out in the fourth.

Pub Date: 7/08/98

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