- The Washington Times - Friday, May 25, 2001


BALTIMORE To say the Anaheim Angels left town late last night in somewhat of a foul mood would be understating the situation. To say the Baltimore Orioles were sorry to see their American League counterparts head out also would be stating the obvious.

Behind another strong home pitching performance from Jason Johnson and another strong offensive showing, the Orioles beat Anaheim 6-4 last night before a crowd much smaller than the 34,555 that was announced at Camden Yards on a makeup date from Tuesday's rainout.

In sweeping the brief two-game series from the Angels, Baltimore won for the seventh time in nine games and moved to two games under the .500 mark with the struggling Texas Rangers coming to town for a four-game series beginning tonight.

The Orioles also sent Anaheim out of town reeling from a series that featured several heated arguments with umpires over beanballs and the strike zone. One day after their starting pitcher was issued a warning after hitting a batter, the Angels had a player and a coach ejected for arguing balls and strikes.

All of which came at the benefit of the Orioles, though Brady Anderson was tossed as well after arguing a called third strike in the eighth inning. Otherwise, Baltimore (22-24) played a near-flawless game.

"There was some intensity in this series, some real intensity," the Angels' David Eckstein said.

Johnson (4-2) continued his dominance at Camden Yards. The 27-year-old right-hander scattered eight hits and three runs over seven innings, striking out five without walking a batter (extending his streak to 16 innings). In six starts at home this season, Johnson is 4-0 with a 1.73 ERA.

"I just love pitching here," Johnson said. "I love the stadium, I love the mound. I can't really explain what the difference is, but I'm going to make sure I clear it up and start pitching well on the road, too."

Orioles pitchers again were given plenty of offensive support, this time six runs and 10 hits, continuing the team's recent surge at the plate. Rookie Jay Gibbons provided the big hit: a three-run homer in the bottom of the second off Ramon Ortiz (3-4). Gibbons' 411-foot shot to right-center, the second homer of his career, snapped an 0-for-11 slump.

Jerry Hairston later helped pad Baltimore's lead by launching an RBI triple to the wall in left-center and later scoring on Chris Richard's groundout.

Manager Mike Hargrove's new-look bullpen-by-committee was put to the test. Left-hander Buddy Groom pitched a perfect eighth. Right-hander Mike Trombley walked two and gave up an RBI single to Eckstein in the top of the ninth, forcing Hargrove to bring in lefty B.J. Ryan with two outs. Ryan retired the only batter he faced to end the game and notch his second save.

The game had an ugly tone to it right from the start, when Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher was ejected in the middle of the first inning by home plate umpire Bill Welke for arguing a called third strike to Wally Joyner that ended the top of the first.

Two innings later and just after a two-run homer by Troy Glaus, Joyner stood at the plate with an 0-1 count and began jawing at Welke, who wasted no time in tossing him from the game. Manager Mike Scioscia had to come out to restrain Joyner, who only got more animated following his ejection.

When Ortiz hit David Segui with a pitch in the fifth, Welke knowing that both teams' pitchers were issued warnings Wednesday after three batters were plunked strolled out to warn Ortiz, bringing Scioscia back out of the dugout again.

"I thought it was real curious that they complained loudly about a warning after they hit us twice," said Hargrove, whose team has been hit by a major league-high 32 pitches. "I don't remember them saying anything yesterday when we accidentally hit them twice. So I thought that was a little curious. But you react differently to different situations."

Segui later slid hard into second base, knocking over shortstop Eckstein (who nearly was hit by pitches twice Wednesday), bringing an animated response from the Anaheim dugout.

"They've got a fiery manager in Scioscia, and he's going to do what he feels he needs to do to get them motivated," Segui said. "I don't think hitting hitters is the answer, but some guys take out their frustrations differently than others."

Thrown into the whole mess was the mere fact that the two teams were playing last night in the first place. The Angels contend that Baltimore did not consult with them over the decision to make up Tuesday's rainout with another night game, especially after playing a scheduled afternoon game Wednesday.

Baltimore, though, was reluctant to schedule the makeup as a day game, realizing more fans were likely to attend a 7:05 p.m. start. Even so, last night's game was played before one of the smallest crowds in Camden Yards history. The attendance announced was the number of tickets sold for Tuesday's rainout, though many fans did not redeem their vouchers last night. The actual attendance will be adjusted at a later date.

Notes For now, Pat Hentgen has been penciled in to start Sunday for the Orioles. But Hargrove doesn't appear ready to break out the permanent marker yet.

Hentgen, suffering from stiffness in his right shoulder, will throw on the side one more time today (a day later than originally scheduled), with the possibility of a trip to the disabled list becoming more likely each day.

Because he has not appeared in a game since May 16, Hentgen (2-3 with a 3.47 ERA) could be placed on the 15-day DL retroactive to his last start and could be eligible to return in time for his next scheduled start. If that were to happen, right-hander Josh Towers who started Tuesday at Class AAA Rochester is the likely replacement to pitch against Texas… .

Baltimore utility man Mike Kinkade's wife, Michelle, gave birth Tuesday night to their second son. Konner Lynn Kinkade weighed eight pounds.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide