Orioles throw big numbers, drop one

10 O's on mound is major league mark for 9-inning game, but not enough

2 Yankees HRs in ninth beat Julio, 9-7

September 13, 2004|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

For the Orioles, game No. 141 of their season yesterday felt more like Game 7 of the World Series.

The ones they lost in 1971 and 1979.

Manager Lee Mazzilli used 10 pitchers yesterday, a major league record for a nine-inning game, because Daniel Cabrera's wildness spun him off the mound. Leashes were shortened as if there were no tomorrow. Be effective or step aside.

Trying for their second straight series win over the New York Yankees, the Orioles didn't have enough control, or enough outs from their bullpen, to avoid a 9-7 loss before another sellout crowd of 47,780 at Camden Yards.

Closer Jorge Julio allowed consecutive home runs to Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui to begin the ninth, and the Yankees won despite stranding 17 runners - their most since 1994. Their lead in the American League East increased to 3 1/2 games.

Sheffield drilled a 2-2 slider into the left-field seats. Matsui redirected a 97 mph fastball to center field. Maybe that four-game suspension, pending Julio's appeal, isn't such a bad idea.

"He threw me a slider on the first pitch," Sheffield said, "so I knew what it looked like."

It moved pretty fast going the other way.

Julio (2-5) has three blown saves this season, all against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, but tie games are more hurtful. He has three losses in the past week.

"When you give up something like that, you've got to come right back the next day. You need that mentality of saying, `I'll come back and do it,'" Mazzilli said. "If a closer doesn't have it, it's not good."

So is Julio still the closer?

"He's going to be out there tomorrow," Mazzilli said.

A 6-2 lead against Jon Lieber dissolved into the Orioles' fifth defeat in their past seven games. They issued 14 walks, the first six coming from Cabrera, who turned in his shortest start of the year, 1 2/3 innings.

"You can't walk all the guys we walked," Mazzilli said. "You can't do that with any team."

David Newhan had three RBIs and Larry Bigbie went 4-for-4 for the Orioles (65-76), who headed to Toronto last night to begin their last trip of the season, with additional stops in Minnesota and Boston.

Bruce Chen makes tonight's start. His leash might stretch around SkyDome.

"I'm sure for our bullpen, it was a long day for them," Bigbie said. "He's got to give us some innings."

Mariano Rivera picked up his 48th save, and third base coach Tom Trebelhorn avoided another run-in with the Yankees' closer and catcher Jorge Posada, who accused him of tipping off pitches during Saturday's game.

There were too many to track during a game that lasted 3 hours, 55 minutes and turned into a non-charitable walk-a-thon.

"You give them free passes with those bats," Bigbie said, "it's going to be tough."

Cabrera was the most generous, but he allowed only two runs. The other seven runs were hung on the bullpen, with three charged to Dave Borkowski in the sixth that erased a 6-3 lead.

"I was trying to throw strikes," Cabrera said. "All my balls were high. I don't know why. Maybe I was trying to throw too hard."

Borkowski, who started the inning, faced four batters and didn't record an out. Jason Grimsley walked three, threw a wild pitch and allowed one hit and one run in his lone inning.

Rick Bauer surrendered one run in three innings, preventing another by tagging out John Olerud at the plate after his last pitch got past catcher Javy Lopez. The ball bounced off the brick wall and returned to Lopez quicker than Olerud anticipated.

Though Olerud slid into Bauer, Mazzilli said the reliever wasn't injured. Health didn't play into his decision to call upon Borkowski, who was chosen over left-hander John Parrish.

"The matchups, the right-handers, he's got to do the job," Mazzilli said of Borkowski. "He's got to do the job."

So does Cabrera, who hasn't made it past the fourth inning in four of his past six starts.

"He was way up in the zone," Mazzilli said. "It looked like he was going to get it back in the second inning. He tried to paddle through."

The Yankees sent nine batters to the plate in the sixth. Alex Rodriguez had a two-run double, and Sheffield added an RBI single after Borkowski intentionally threw him a ball on the first pitch.

With second base open and none out, Lopez checked the Orioles dugout before extending his arm to signal for the walk. Mazzilli jumped to the top step to wave it off after the count went to 1-0.

"Javy looked at me and I said, `Yeah, pitch to him,'" Mazzilli said. "He thought I said, `Walk him.'"

Lopez's two-out single in the seventh tied the score at 7, and B.J. Ryan escaped a jam in the eighth that was stoked, in part, by his throwing error.

Julio took the ball for the ninth, left after his strikeout with two outs was foiled by Lopez's passed ball, and was serenaded by a chorus of boos.

Asked about his confidence, Julio said: "I'm fine. I'm ready to pitch every day. It doesn't matter what happens."

Orioles tonight

Opponent: Toronto Blue Jays

Site: SkyDome, Toronto

Time: 7:05

Radio: WBAL (1090 AM)

Starters: Orioles' Bruce Chen (0-0, 2.12) vs. Blue Jays' Justin Miller (3-3, 5.04)

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