Riley demoted after marathon game

Bauer activated from DL after Friday's 6:15 contest, longest, by time, for O's

Orioles

July 04, 2004|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

PHILADELPHIA - With their bullpen wrecked and one of their young starters still unable to harness his vast potential, the Orioles activated Rick Bauer from the disabled list and optioned left-hander Matt Riley to Triple-A Ottawa.

Consider it a large Band-Aid applied to the club after Friday night's brawl with the Philadelphia Phillies. No punches were thrown, just a lot of pitches.

The teams needed 16 innings - and 6 hours, 15 minutes - to decide a winner, with Miguel Tejada's single off Brian Powell scoring David Newhan for a 7-6 victory. The Orioles used eight relievers, including Daniel Cabrera, who started Wednesday in Kansas City. Cabrera got the last three outs for his first major league save.

"The kid [Cabrera] volunteered to pitch in the game," Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said. "We didn't have anyone left."

Riley didn't request an assignment to Ottawa, but he's gone anyway. Coming off a strong effort against the Atlanta Braves, when he allowed one run in six-plus innings, Riley faced 11 batters before leaving with none out in the second. He was charged with five runs - blowing a 5-0 lead - walked three and departed after 49 pitches.

"I just didn't throw strikes," he said afterward. "My fastball wasn't working. I didn't have my best stuff tonight."

"When you've got a five-run lead," Mazzilli said, "you've got to come out better than that."

At 6:15, Friday's game was the longest by time in Orioles' history, and it might still be going if Tejada, whose homer in the seventh tied the score, hadn't grounded a single into center field in the 16th to score Newhan. Tejada kept it alive in the 14th by making a backhanded stop and throw, after double-clutching, to retire Placido Polanco and leave the bases loaded.

Newhan began the 16th with his fourth hit, and he advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Tim Raines Jr. Tejada followed with his single, and the Orioles had their fourth win in five games.

"I didn't think too much up there. I just said to myself that I'd try to hit the ball hard and see if I could hit it where nobody was," Tejada said.

"That win was important for us. It showed everybody in here that we can come back, no matter what."

The bullpen pointed them in the right direction, allowing only an unearned run over 15 innings and striking out 18. Eddy Rodriguez gained his first major league win with three scoreless innings, though he accounted for five of the club-record 18 walks.

"He didn't have another pitch left in him," Mazzilli said.

No team had its relievers go that long without giving up an earned run since the Minnesota Twins on Aug. 31, 1993.

"The guys feel good about themselves," Mazzilli said. "I know they're a little tired, but that's what makes this game so great."

That's what makes the game maddening as well. Agitated by his removal, Riley stormed to the dugout and fired his cap against the wall before turning toward the mound and shouting.

Asked about the source of his anger, Riley said, "Everything. I was disappointed in myself. I wasn't getting people out. It's my job to get people out. They gave me a nice lead, and I squandered it. That's my fault, and I take the blame for it.

"This is the most frustrated outing of my life. Disgusting."

In nine games, Riley is 1-3 with an 8.39 ERA in 34 1/3 innings.

"He's got to be consistent," said Mazzilli, who didn't notice Riley's tantrum in the dugout. "He's got to find it."

Bauer tossed three scoreless innings Thursday at Double-A Bowie as part of an abbreviated rehab assignment. Before last night, he was 1-0 with a 6.61 ERA in 15 appearances covering 32 2/3 innings.

O's longest games

The Orioles' longest games by time:

Time Date Opp. Inn. Result

6:15 7-2-04 at Phi. 16 W, 7-6

5:49 6-19-98 Tor. 15 W, 7-4

5:46 6-4-88 N.Y.Y. 14 W, 7-6

5:41 6-27-03 Phi. 17 L, 4-2

5:34 5-22-93 Mil. 14 W, 5-4

5:34 5-1-96 N.Y.Y. 15 L, 11-6

5:32 7-17-91 at K.C. 15 L, 9-8

5:27 8-25-68 Bos. 18 W, 3-2

5:23 8-12-89 Bos. 13 L, 10-8

5:17 5-26-79 at Det. 16 W, 7-5

5:17 9-3-00 at Cle. 13 L, 12-11

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