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Home sweet home
Orioles return to Camden Yards, end six-game skid
Posted: Friday April 23, 1999 11:34 PM
BALTIMORE (AP) -- The rap music in the clubhouse was cranked to near maximum volume and the conversation was loud and animated. For the first time in more than a week, the Baltimore Orioles had a victory to celebrate.
Mike Bordick singled in the tiebreaking run in the seventh inning and Jeff Conine added a three-run double as the Orioles overcame three Oakland homers and snapped a six-game skid with a 7-4 victory Friday night.
The win took some pressure off Baltimore manager Ray Miller, whose job status appeared to be in jeopardy after a dismal 1-8 road trip that left the Orioles with the worst record in the majors (3-12).
"I'm sure it's a big relief for everybody," Miller said. "Hopefully we can take this and build on it."
For one night at least, the Orioles played up to their potential. They bunted well, got a credible performance from their starting pitcher and came up with several clutch hits.
"We're very happy about this win tonight. We did the little things, and I think that's been missing," said Lenny Webster, whose double started the seventh-inning uprising.
With the score 3-all, Webster opened the seventh with a double off Jimmy Haynes (1-3). Brady Anderson then got a bunt single off Buddy Groom and Bordick followed with an RBI single up the middle. After a sacrifice and an intentional walk to Albert Belle loaded the bases, Conine hit the first pitch from Tim Worrell to the base of the wall in center for a 7-3 lead.
"It was a big hit for him, and it lifted the whole ballclub up," Miller said.
Bordick's hit was huge, too. It was the second straight night he delivered a key single for the Orioles -- on Thursday, his eighth-inning blooper broke up a no-hit bid by Tampa Bay's Tony Saunders.
This time, Bordick contributed to a winning effort.
"Thank goodness. It's good to come home and get a big win," Bordick said. "Hopefully this is the start of a good homestand."
Mike Fetters (1-0) earned his first win with the Orioles despite allowing a game-tying homer to Phillips in the seventh. Mike Timlin, who worked the ninth, has finished each of Baltimore's four victories this year.
Guzman also survived a bases-loaded situation in the fifth by retiring Jaha on a popup.
"It was a game of missed opportunities. We had chance to break it wide open in the third and the fifth and we didn't do it," Oakland manager Art Howe said. "Good teams hang around and get back in the game."
The Orioles went up 2-1 in the fifth when Conine walked and scored on a double by Delino DeShields, who was hitting .100 before delivering his first extra-base hit with Baltimore. Anderson then hit an RBI single, giving the Orioles their first lead in a span of 53 innings.
It didn't last long. Stairs led off the sixth with his third homer of the season, a drive to center on a 2-1 pitch.
In the Orioles' half, B.J. Surhoff scored on a wild pitch by Haynes to put Baltimore ahead 3-2.
Haynes allowed five hits and walked seven in six innings.
"I made good pitches for the most part. I had good control, but maybe I nit picked a little too much," he said. "I didn't miss by much. The walks made it look bad."
Notes: Belle went 0-for-1 with three walks and is mired in a 2-for-19 slump. ... Oakland is 10-26 against the Orioles over the past three seasons. ... Five of Stairs' eight RBIs have either tied the game or put the A's ahead. ... The umpires didn't get their luggage from Toronto, so three of them wore Orioles jackets on a brisk night.
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