- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 31, 2001


BALTIMORE Apparently, 12 games in 10 days after a cross-country red-eye flight back to Baltimore for a meaningless makeup game against a fellow fourth-place club wasn't bizarre enough for the Orioles.
Add a half-full stadium of fans who exchanged their tickets for a rare 8:05 p.m. start, an empty out-of-town scoreboard in right field and one uninhibited fellow who raced onto the Camden Yards field in the top of the eighth wearing nothing but an orange floppy hat and a pair of sneakers and you've got a truly surreal scene.
And just for good measure or perhaps simply because they didn't feel tortured enough by this one-game series, the Orioles and Texas Rangers decided to extend last night's contest into extra innings, with the Rangers finally breaking through for a 6-4 victory in the 11th.
Alex Rodriguez's bases-loaded single off reliever Mike Trombley (3-4) with two outs in the top of the 11th, scoring two runs, proved to be the difference and sent Baltimore to its 20th loss in its last 25 games with the woeful Tampa Bay Devil Rays coming to town to begin a three-game series tonight.
Knotted in a 4-4 game since the sixth inning, the Orioles and Rangers exposed the announced crowd of 38,152 (the number of tickets sold for the originally scheduled game July 19) to four innings of scoreless baseball before Texas broke the deadlock.
That didn't stop one fan from exposing himself to everyone in attendance in the top of the eighth inning. With a runner on first, nobody out and Ricky Ledee at the plate, a streaker emerged in the left-field corner, ran all the way to the right-field wall, back around third base past Cal Ripken and behind home plate before stadium security finally accosted him.
As the unidentified man was escorted out through the Orioles' dugout, amid a standing ovation from the crowd, injured Baltimore first baseman David Segui tossed the uncovered sap a towel.
Sidney Ponson, the subject of trade rumors earlier this month but unlikely to be moved as the non-waiver trading deadline arrives today, shut the Rangers down for five innings before falling victim to some well-placed hits and another defensive gaffe behind him.
Trailing 4-0 in the top of the sixth, Texas strung together two singles, a double and walk to score two runs, then added another on a groundout to shortstop with a runner on third. Michael Young hit a sinking line drive to left field that should have constituted the third out of the inning, but Mike Kinkade came charging in too far and allowed the ball to bounce off the heel of his glove. The tying run scored as Young was credited with questionable single.
The Orioles built their four-run lead by taking advantage of the opposing team's defensive mistakes for a change. Three singles the last by Kinkade brought one run across the plate in the second, then three more scored in the bottom of the fifth thanks in part to a botched double play attempt, a wild pitch and an error on a stolen base attempt.
With Fernando Lunar on first, Jerry Hairston grounded to second baseman Young. Not wanting to get tagged out, Lunar stopped in the middle of the basepath, forcing Young to throw to first. By the time the ball got back to second base, Lunar was in safely.
He then took third on a wild pitch by Texas starter Doug Davis, allowing him to score on Brian Roberts' base hit. With two outs, Roberts took off for second early and Davis threw to first to start a rundown. But Rafael Palmeiro's throw was wide, and Roberts wound up on third base before scoring on Chris Richard's single. Jeff Conine completed the rally with a run-scoring double, his third hit of the game.

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