O's swing 14-11 win in Seattle

11 unanswered runs allow O's to dig out of Guzman's 4-1 hole

Back forces out DeShields

Timlin yields 5 in 9th

both sides have 14 hits

June 02, 1999|By Joe Strauss | Joe Strauss,SUN STAFF

SEATTLE -- Whack.

It could have been the sound of Will Clark's right hand plowing into a dugout wall after a fourth-inning flyout.

It could have been the sound of Ray Miller picking up a fungo and pile-driving it into the dugout floor after watching his starting pitcher suffer the latest in a string of mental lapses, this one giving the Seattle Mariners an out in the second inning.

Or it could have been the sound of the Orioles dropping their third consecutive game, guaranteeing themselves another losing series on another losing road trip.

Instead, it was the sound of one of the Orioles' most persistent, punishing rallies of the season, as they blasted three Mariners pitchers for nine runs in the fifth and sixth innings of a 14-11 win before 21,597 at the Kingdome last night.

The win saved the Orioles' chances of a winning road trip, saved starting pitcher Juan Guzman from an unsightly loss and saved the club from its first descent to 13 games below .500.

Given three RBIs in the two innings by left fielder B. J. Surhoff, the Orioles scored three times in the fifth inning to create a 4-4 tie then routed Mariners starter Freddy Garcia, left-hander Jordan Zimmerman and Rafael Carmona for six runs during a 12-batter sixth.

Thanks to Mike Timlin's five-run ninth inning, the runs would be needed.

Designated hitter Harold Baines contributed his fourth three-hit game and drove in runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to boost his team-leading RBI total to 40.

Eleven unanswered runs scored before the Orioles were done thrashing the Mariners, who lost for only the fourth time in their past 15 games. Every Orioles starter except Clark scored and every starter except Charles Johnson hit safely.

Now 20-31, the Orioles suffered a significant loss as well.

Second baseman Delino DeShields collapsed during the Mariners' sixth inning while backing up second base on a ground ball. DeShields grabbed his lower back and lay on the field for several minutes before being helped off.

The reversal brought reliever Doug Johns (2-1) his second win in four days after enduring a drought dating to last July. Johns held the Mariners to one run while the Orioles were mashing 10 hits to score 11 times in a three-inning span. Johns' only blemish was a two-out bases-empty home run to Edgar Martinez in the seventh inning that made the score 12-5.

The ending hardly resembled the beginning. The Orioles looked lethargic with Guzman in the game as he needed 97 pitches to slog through four innings.

The streaking Mariners took a 1-0 lead in the first inning by converting a one-out walk to shortstop Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey's double.

Baines' return to the lineup after a day off led to the Orioles tying the game in the second. Baines' leadoff single was followed by a walk to Clark. Cal Ripken drove in the run with one of his best at-bats of the season. After falling behind Garcia 0-2, Ripken fought his way back to a full count before lining a double down the left-field line, scoring Baines and moving Clark to third.

Guzman has consistently struggled to hold leads and reward his offense for retrieving games for him. His latest lapse infuriated Miller and at least one of his fielders.

Following a leadoff single by Russ Davis, Guzman issued the third of five walks, this one to David Bell. No. 9 hitter Dan Wilson sacrificed both runners into scoring position, turning the rally over to leadoff hitter Brian Hunter, the Mariners' leading base stealer.

Hunter chopped a grounder to first base that drew Clark off the bag. Guzman hesitated before half-stepping toward the base. By then Hunter had passed him and Davis scored without a throw. Clark was visibly irritated by the mistake.

The blunder didn't cost the Orioles anything except embarrassment -- Guzman escaped the inning by getting Rodriguez to ground into a 1-6-3 double play -- the image only underscored the impression of a distracted team.

Guzman eventually fell behind 4-1 in the fourth inning after the Mariners loaded the bases without making contact on a swing. Davis reached on a third-strike wild pitch before Bell and Rodriguez walked. Griffey again stepped in and Miller allowed Guzman to face the major leagues' home run leader with left-hander Johns warm in the bullpen. Griffey foiled the move by driving a two-run single to right field, his fourth hit of the series.

The inning was Guzman's last, leaving the rotation with four consecutive starts of four innings or less. In that span, Orioles starters have allowed 25 runs -- 18 earned -- 29 hits and 12 walks in 13 2/3 innings for an 11.85 ERA. Johns, who won Saturday's game in Oakland as the Orioles rallied from a 5-0 deficit, inherited last night's decision when the Orioles caught up to Garcia in the fifth.

Garcia (6-2) crumbled after hitting Brady Anderson with one out. DeShields and Surhoff hit back-to-back doubles and Baines contributed a two-out single to tie it.

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