- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 8, 2001

ORIOLES 4, PHILLIES 3

BALTIMORE Brady Anderson's role as an everyday Baltimore Orioles outfielder may have changed, but perhaps it will allow him to jump-start his season.
Anderson came off the bench last night and in his first at-bat launched a bases-loaded triple that put the Orioles ahead for good in a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies before a Camden Yards-record crowd of 49,072.
Anderson's two-out sixth-inning drive caromed off the scoreboard in right field, clearing the bases and erasing a 1-0 Philadelphia lead. Anderson entered the game as a replacement for Jerry Hairston, who was ejected in the fourth inning for arguing with home plate umpire Rich Rieker.
Jay Gibbons added some insurance with a seventh-inning solo home run, but it wound up being needed. Three relievers combined to hold the Phillies down after Jason Johnson yielded just an unearned run in six innings, though Baltimore nearly gave up its lead in the eighth.
With the production of outfielders Gibbons and Chris Richard, who came off the disabled list Thursday and went 4-for-4 last night, Anderson has to adjust at least temporarily to coming off the bench at times. The 13-year Orioles veteran, who was hitting .206 in 65 games and missed six games in the last two weeks because of a bruised shoulder, has said he is willing to play in whatever capacity needed, and he certainly produced in an unfamiliar role last night.
Anderson saved the Orioles, who to that point had stranded a host of runners on base. In fact, both clubs took their turns squandering opportunities until the sixth, when Tony Batista and Richard opened the inning with singles, chasing starter Nelson Figueroa. Cal Ripken's sacrifice bunt moved up the runners, and Melvin Mora was intentionally walked.
Philadelphia reliever Wayne Gomes struck out Fernando Lunar to set the stage for Anderson.
Baltimore came away with the victory in a shoddily played game; both starting pitchers managed to dodge a big inning through the first four frames, though they seemed to invite trouble at every opportunity. Each team put a runner in scoring position in three of the first four innings, but only the Phillies managed one run. The teams combined to leave 14 men on base through five innings. For the Orioles, Batista was the main culprit, stranding five in his first two at-bats.
Johnson has made his mark this season as a clutch pitcher at Camden Yards, owning the third-best home ERA in the American League and the eighth-best overall (3.41). But from the outset last night, he didn't appear to have the command of his pitches that had carried him to seven victories this season.
In the first five innings, Johnson walked four batters, something he had done only one other time this season. He sometimes took extra time between pitches and looked uncomfortable on the mound. Nonetheless, Johnson pitched through his problems and took care of the Phillies when they threatened, aided by two double plays. He gave up five hits in six innings and struck out four.
Johnson and first baseman David Segui combined for two errors in the first inning. After going to his right to field Jimmy Rollins' grounder, Segui lobbed the ball toward Johnson, who was trying to cover first, but it went over his head. Then, while trying to keep Rollins, the National League's top base-stealer, close at first, Johnson threw away a pickoff attempt, allowing Rollins to scamper all the way to third with one out.
Johnson looked miffed after a close pitch was called ball four to Bobby Abreu. Scott Rolen followed by slicing a single through the hole between first and second to score the Phillies' first run.
The Orioles almost ruined things in the eighth trying to protect the 4-1 lead. After pitching a 1-2-3 seventh, B.J. Ryan issued a leadoff walk to Abreu and a one-out walk to Travis Lee. Mike Trombley came on and walked Pat Burrell to load the bases, so Orioles manager Mike Hargrove went to lefty Buddy Groom. Pinch-hitter Brian Hunter promptly doubled to right to score two runs, but Groom induced a pair of groundouts to end the threat.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide