For Yanks, wood works against O's

New York races to 10-0 advantage before winning, 12-6

Brosius, Jeter hit homers

O's 6 runs in 7th are too little, too late

July 06, 2000|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

NEW YORK - The Orioles were shut out before leaving the clubhouse yesterday, failing to have a single player chosen as a reserve for next week's All-Star Game.

Andy Pettitte almost couldn't resist piling on. His teammates had no problem.

Supported by home runs from Scott Brosius and Derek Jeter and a breakout sixth inning, Pettitte and the New York Yankees took a 12-6 victory over the Orioles last night at Yankee Stadium.

New York carried a 10-0 lead into the seventh before the Orioles scored six times to splice some drama into what had developed into a rout. It only delayed the inevitable.

The loss lowered the Orioles' road record to 13-33 and kept them 7 1/2 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East. Though winners of six of their past nine games, the Orioles are 25-41 since April 22, when the club was a season-high six games over .500. A win today would lock up only their sixth series win in their past 19 attempts since the end of April.

The Orioles (36-46) had received some positive news earlier in the day. Injured second baseman Delino DeShields noted improvement in his strained back muscle, and third baseman Ryan Minor expected to take batting practice today after missing four games with a pulled rib-cage muscle. The team is getting healthier on the field, if not in the standings.

Coming off a six-hit shutout in Detroit, Pettitte (9-4) blanked the Orioles through six innings before Charles Johnson belted a two-run homer in the seventh. Brosius helped Pettitte with a three-run blast in the second inning, and Jeter added a bases-empty homer in the fifth between two outstanding plays in the field that produced outs at second base.

Johnson's homer was his 20th this season, establishing a career high, and his sixth in eight games. It also broke Pettitte's streak of 15 consecutive scoreless innings, but it came too late to influence Yankees manager Joe Torre. In charge of picking the AL reserves, Torre chose his own catcher, Jorge Posada.

Pettitte was removed with one out in the seventh after a triple by rookie Luis Matos and a walk to Brady Anderson. Mike Bordick, another All-Star snub, singled in Matos for his 51st RBI. Left fielder David Justice played a liner by B.J. Surhoff into a run-scoring double, Albert Belle's grounder brought home Bordick, and Jeff Conine singled to complete the six-run inning.

"This club hasn't given up all year," said manager Mike Hargrove. "We certainly made a game of it when it was out of hand, which was good to see. We just couldn't get any closer. I thought it was encouraging that we continued to play hard."

Pat Rapp (5-6) couldn't give the Orioles a third consecutive quality start or avoid a six-run sixth that blew open the game. He was removed with one out in the inning and charged with seven runs - two scoring after Darren Holmes had entered. Holmes allowed three more to give New York a 10-0 lead.

"I thought Rapp threw the ball well," Hargrove said. "He got a pitch up to Brosius, probably the only really bad pitch he threw. Other than that, they hit the ball where we weren't standing."

Accustomed to generous run support, Rapp didn't get any until it was too late. The Orioles were averaging 6.1 runs in his 16 starts, but they waited until the Yankees had built a substantial lead to unload on Pettitte and reliever Jason Grimsley.

The Rapp sheet showed that he had been on a roll. After allowing 28 hits and 19 earned runs over 16 innings in his first four June starts, he had given up 10 hits and four runs over 14 innings in his past two outings before last night. He was attempting to join Sidney Ponson as the only starters above .500.

New York's Bernie Williams extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a leadoff double in the second inning. Rapp's next pitch, to Justice, drove Matos to the warning track in right, with Williams going to third. Tino Martinez grounded to first before Posada was hit just above the right elbow.

Brosius made Rapp pay by driving a 1-0 pitch over the left-field fence for his eighth homer, and his second against the Orioles this season. The other was a grand slam off reliever Mike Trombley on May 7.

Just like that, Rapp had given up the same number of runs to the Yankees as during 7 2/3 innings of a May 6 start, when he lost, 3-1.

"The ball to Brosius was just one or my fastballs that happened to straighten out," said Rapp, who didn't record a strikeout. "I thought I was making good pitches otherwise. I felt comfortable out there. But these guys are going to make contact."

He fell behind 4-0 in the fifth when Jeter took him deep after Rapp had fielded a hard one-hopper from Chuck Knoblauch and started a double play. The lead grew in the sixth when Williams, who garnered the most votes among AL outfielders, poked another double to left and scored on a single by Martinez into the right-field corner.

Replays showed the ball landed foul, inches outside the line.

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