- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 29, 2003

BALTIMORE — It was “Turn Back the Clock Night” at Camden Yards as the Baltimore Orioles and Philadelphia Phillies sported the same uniforms as their 1983 World Series teams.

Afterward, Orioles starter Pat Hentgen wished he had the ability to turn back the clock on his night.

The Baltimore starter was shelled for seven runs in five innings as the Orioles fell to Philadelphia 9-5 before 49,549, the largest crowd ever at the 11-year-old park. It was Baltimore’s 16th loss in its last 22 games.

“I wish I could redo some of the pitches I threw, but I can’t,” said Hentgen, who was making his first start since being shifted from the bullpen Wednesday. “I just pitched really poorly. I really don’t know any other way to put it.”

Playing on the same day that Friday’s night’s 17-inning game officially ended, the Phillies and Orioles took advantage of well-used pitching staffs to combine for 26 hits and five home runs. In Friday’s marathon, the teams used 15 pitchers.

“Our bullpen is really worn out right now, but they all said they could go an inning,” said Phillies manager Larry Bowa, whose team has won nine of 11.

Hentgen (1-5), the 1996 American League Cy Young Award winner, got rocked early and often.

“His motor was going a tick too fast tonight,” Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said. “He just couldn’t get his stuff in sync.”

Jim Thome started things off with a two-run blast to left field in the first. Hentgen then allowed an RBI double by Placido Polanco in the second but escaped a bases-loaded jam by getting Bobby Abreu to end the inning.

It was only a temporarily reprieve. The Phillies led off the third with consecutive singles by Mike Lieberthal and Ricky Ledee and a walk to Pat Burrell to load the bases. Hentgen fanned the next two batters before Polanco struck once more with a two-run single to left-center.

Ledee helped cement Hentgen’s departure in the fifth when he smacked a hanging breaking ball 369 feet to right for a two-run homer to give his team a 7-0 lead.

“We needed somebody to give us some innings tonight,” Hargrove said. “It was very important for Pat to go at least five for us.”

Said Hentgen: “They have the confidence to put me back in there and then I pitch like that. It’s embarrassing. It’s sad.”

Philadelphia starter Brett Myers (7-6) hung around for six innings but still gave up five runs on 10 hits.

With the score 7-5 in the seventh, Thomas Perez gave the Phillies some breathing room with a solo homer to right-center. It came on the first pitch from Willis Roberts, who had just escaped allowing a previous homer when Luis Matos made a leaping catch in center to rob Burrell.

Lieberthal padded the Phillies lead in the eighth when his RBI single scored Thome, who had gotten a ground-rule double with two out.

“We started out really solid and kept the pressure on,” Thome said. “We played well. We’re almost into July, and every game becomes important.”

Down 7-0 after 3 innings, the Orioles slowly crawled back into the game.

Jay Gibbons put Baltimore on the board in the fourth when he turned on a fastball from Myers and deposited it 420 feet over the right-field fence. The ball landed on Eutaw Street and one-hopped its way to the B&O; Warehouse, becoming the 30th home run in the history of Camden Yards to clear the right-field stands and the first this season.

Gibbons’ blast seemed to ignite the Orioles, who came back with two runs in the fifth and two in the sixth.

Geronimo Gil and Brian Roberts had two-out singles to start Baltimore’s fifth-inning rally, and both scored on Matos’ slicing triple that landed just inside the right-field foul line.

The Orioles cut the deficit to 7-5 in the sixth when Tony Batista launched a towering two-run homer to left field.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide