O's give first-rate show, 15-6

Club-record 10-run 1st jumps Rangers before a national audience

Mussina yields 2 runs, is 7-1

Frustration pours out to end homestand 3-3

May 24, 1999|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,SUN STAFF

The Orioles Run Pump -- which displays the running total of each Orioles rally on the JumboTron scoreboard at Camden Yards -- nearly blew a gasket in the first inning last night, and a week's worth of frustration poured out on the Texas Rangers.

Cal Ripken had a two-run double, Mike Bordick had a three-run double and B. J. Surhoff hit his seventh home run of the season, all before the Orioles' lineup had recorded three outs in last night's 15-6 victory over the top team in the American League West.

The Run Pump didn't shut off until the Orioles had scored 10 times to tie the club record for runs in an inning -- accomplished three times previously -- and set a team mark for scoring in their first at-bat.

If that wasn't enough for the national cable audience that watched the game on ESPN, center fielder Brady Anderson set an American League record and tied a major-league record when he was hit by pitches twice by former Oriole Mike Morgan in that same inning.

Now, that's entertainment.

Anderson took a fastball in the back to open the inning and was hit on the right foot to load the bases after five runs had crossed the plate. The rest of the runs came on two quick swings, the double by Bordick that cleared the bases and the ensuing home run by Surhoff that took the inning into double digits.

The last time the Orioles scored 10 runs in an inning was Aug. 21, 1985, against the Seattle Mariners at the Kingdome. The only time they previously reached double figures in an inning in Baltimore was on July 8, 1969, against the New York Yankees at Memorial Stadium.

What better way to celebrate Texas Barbecue Night at Oriole Park than by grilling a couple of Texas pitchers. Morgan, who was a member of the infamous 1988 Orioles club that opened the season with 21 straight losses, was charged with eight runs before giving way to veteran John Burkett, who gave up the big swings to Bordick and Surhoff.

What better time for the Orioles (16-27) to have a no-doubt kind of night than after suffering discouraging late-inning meltdowns in three of their previous four games.

The night before, they let a victory slip away when a strange throwing error by closer Mike Timlin helped the Rangers stage a four-run rally in the ninth inning. Timlin also blew a save opportunity on Wednesday night against the Anaheim Angels and Surhoff Mussina made a costly mental error in Thursday night's game.

The Orioles apparently enjoy spending Sunday with the Rangers. They scored their highest run total of the season -- 16 -- a week earlier in the finale of a four-game series at The Ballpark in Arlington.

Right-hander Mike Mussina probably didn't need that much offensive support, but the crowd of 40,516 clearly enjoyed the early onslaught, which also included an RBI double by Jeff Conine and sacrifice flies by Surhoff and Rich Amaral.

Mussina didn't mind it either. He gave up a run in the top of the first inning on a leadoff double by Tom Goodwin and a two-out single by two-time MVP Juan Gonzalez, and wasn't particularly sharp in the early innings. But it didn't matter. He was all but guaranteed his seventh victory in eight 1999 decisions before he took the mound in the second.

Even Rocky Coppinger giving up home runs to Gonzalez and former Orioles Rafael Palmeiro and Mark McLemore in a two-inning major-league return couldn't stop Mussina from winning on this night.

Manager Ray Miller came out looking for every run he could get, pulling off a perfect hit-and-run with Anderson and Bordick to put runners at first and third with no outs. Anderson scored from third on a shallow fly ball by Surhoff that was caught in left by retreating shortstop Royce Clayton. One out. One run. Runner at first. Nothing special so far.

Morgan walked Albert Belle before Conine launched his RBI double into the gap in left-center field. Ripken extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a shot down the left-field line that brought home Belle and Conine, before Delino DeShields sent him to third with a single and Amaral scored him with a fly ball to deep center.

Charles Johnson singled and Morgan hit Anderson again before Rangers manager Johnny Oates decided he had seen enough. He brought on Burkett, who quickly fell behind in the count to Bordick, then gave up a rope down the left-field line for three more runs. Surhoff also jumped ahead in the count and rifled a shot onto the flag court for his second and third RBIs of the inning. He now has hit in 14 straight games.

The Orioles also added a run in the third on Johnson's 10th home run of the year and another single run in the fifth on a run-scoring single by Anderson, then put three more on the scoreboard in the eighth on an RBI groundout by Belle and a two-run double by DeShields.

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