- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 5, 2000


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Reliever Ryan Kohlmeier was credited with the save, but outfielder Eugene Kingsale really earned it.

Kingsale made a spectacular running catch in center field with two outs and the bases loaded to rob Matt Lawton of a game-winning hit and preserve the Baltimore Orioles' 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins yesterday.

"I think Kingsale gets the save on this one," said Kohlmeier, who gave up two hits and a walk in the inning before being bailed out to earn his ninth save in as many tries. "It got exciting there in the ninth."

Torii Hunter singled to start the ninth and was forced at second on a grounder by Jacque Jones. A.J. Pierzynski followed with a single, and Kohlmeier then walked Denny Hocking to load the bases.

Kohlmeier struck out Cristian Guzman for the second out before Lawton sent a long drive to the gap that would have scored the tying and winning runs.

Kingsale, who crashed into the fence as he caught the ball, said making the catch was equal to hitting a game-winning homer.

"Guys dream of making a good play like that to end a game," said Kingsale, who sat stunned on the warning track for several minutes after hitting a post in the fence. "I didn't get any hits, but I took something away from them."

Baltimore manager Mike Hargrove said his heart sank when the ball was hit and then jumped when he saw Kingsale might make the play.

"I went from almost sure he could catch it to being amazed that he did catch it," Hargrove said.

Baltimore starter Jose Mercedes won for the eighth time in nine decisions since the All-Star break.

Mercedes (11-5), the only Orioles starter with a winning record, allowed one run and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. His second-half record is tied for the best mark in the AL with Pedro Martinez.

"I'm proud of that," Mercedes said. "It was a tough game, but we won and I feel great. Today I didn't have my slider, but I had my curveball. I went close to seven innings and gave us a chance to win."

Mercedes, coming off a two-hitter against Detroit, walked one and struck out five. The only run he allowed came on a homer by David Ortiz.

Rookie Mark Redman (12-8) gave up eight hits and two runs in seven innings for the Twins, who lost for the fifth time in six games. Redman, who leads the majors in wins by a rookie, lost his second straight game after winning seven of his previous nine starts.

"I had my all-right stuff, but I didn't have my best stuff," Redman said. "This game is exciting when it's close, and I'm glad to have this as my job."

Brady Anderson's RBI single in the fifth snapped a 1-1 tie. Anderson's hit scored Mark Lewis, who had singled and stolen second.

The Orioles added another run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Jeff Conine to make it 3-1.

Baltimore needed it because Minnesota came back with a run in the bottom half against reliever Buddy Groom. Guzman hit his second double of the game, took third on a groundout and scored when Ron Coomer reached on a throwing error by Lewis at shortstop.

Ortiz hit his ninth home run in the fourth, a 412-foot upper deck shot, to tie the game 1-1. Baltimore scored in the top of the inning on a bloop single by Cal Ripken.

Delino DeShields had three singles for Baltimore.

Notes Ripken was robbed of an extra-base hit in the second inning when Corey Koskie made a diving stab of a grounder over third base and threw out Ripken at first… . When outfielder Karim Garcia makes his debut for the Orioles, he will be the 49th player used by Baltimore this year, the second most in club history… . Guzman, who leads the majors with 19 triples, tried to stretch a double to the left-field corner in the first inning but was thrown out at third… . Twins manager Tom Kelly wants his 2001 contract status to be settled before the end of this season, and team CEO Chris Clouser says that is possible: "I'm sure we will be meeting with Tom in the near future," Clouser said.

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