- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 2, 2001


BALTIMORE In all likelihood, Cal Ripken will finish his career Saturday night at Camden Yards, not in a makeup game Monday at Yankee Stadium. In all likelihood, he also will pick up at least one more base hit before season's end, no matter how difficult a task that has been in the past week.

Ripken extended his season-long hitless streak to 25 at-bats last night, going 0-for-4 and committing two throwing errors in the Baltimore Orioles' 1-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Physically and emotionally drained from all the hubbub surrounding his final days as a major league player, Ripken played all 15 innings of Sunday's 1-1 tie against the New York Yankees and was back in the lineup last night. Baltimore manager Mike Hargrove has said he won't keep the Iron Man (now five games shy of the elusive 3,000 games-played mark) out of the starting lineup the rest of the way unless Ripken himself asks for a night off.

In the first game of his final homestand, Ripken struggled both at the plate and in the field. He struck out looking at an inside fastball in the first inning, grounded out to third in the fourth, sent a deep fly ball to center field in the sixth that was hauled in by Toronto's Jose Cruz Jr. and struck out looking at a breaking ball in the ninth.

Though he did make a couple of nice stabs at third base, Ripken committed two throwing errors on routine plays, both times launching his tosses high enough that first baseman Jeff Conine had to leap to make the catch.

Neither fielding gaffe had an impact on the game. Cruz's 400-foot solo homer down the right-field line in the sixth inning produced the game's only run.

Rookie Rick Bauer (0-4) was the hard-luck loser, surrendering only the homer in seven innings of work. Toronto's Esteban Loaiza (11-11) did Bauer one better, tossing seven shutout innings to earn the win. Baltimore has failed to score in its last 18 innings.

"It's frustrating because you pitch a good game and you want to go home satisfied," Bauer said. "Every game that I think I have gone out and thrown well, the guy throwing against me has thrown better."

"The last two days we've pitched well," Hargrove said. "We just haven't scored a lot of runs. We had a couple men in scoring position and just couldn't get them in."

The possibility was raised Sunday of the need to make up the tie game if it has an effect on the Yankees' playoff seeding, and the Orioles suddenly found themselves facing a potential one-day trip to the Bronx on Monday for their season finale. In that scenario, Ripken's final game would not take place at home Saturday as scheduled but instead on the road in the stadium that honored him last weekend.

That possibility appears less likely now, though, with the players union opposed to any makeup games that decide only seedings.

Gene Orza, the No. 2 official in the players association, told the Associated Press yesterday that the union's agreement with baseball is to make up rainouts only if they determine who makes the postseason.

The commissioner's office has not yet decided whether the Yankees' two rainouts (one against the Orioles, one against the Red Sox) would need to be made up. The whole scenario would become moot should the Yankees maintain a comfortable lead over the Indians for the No. 2 seed in the American League (New York leads by three games at the moment).

Notes Confirming what had been suspected for some time, the Orioles announced yesterday that first baseman David Segui will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee once the season is over. Segui, who signed a four-year contract with Baltimore last winter, has appeared in just one game since Aug. 23.

"I don't think that anybody anticipates it will be anything serious, and I don't think anybody anticipates him not being ready for the start of spring training," Hargrove said.

The Orioles have not officially disclosed Segui's precise injury, but Hargrove referred to it as a "torn capsule" last week… .

With their bench withered down to a couple of healthy bodies, the Orioles purchased the contract of outfielder Tim Raines Jr. before last night's game. The 22-year-old son of Montreal Expos outfielder Tim Raines began the season at Class A Frederick and progressed all the way through Baltimore's minor league system. After batting a combined .274 with nine home runs, 55 RBI and 54 stolen bases, Raines figures to see some action in the season's final week.

Raines entered last night's game in the ninth inning, replacing center fielder Luis Matos. With the Expos having the day off, Raines Sr. was in attendance for his son's big league debut.

Brady Anderson (strained quadriceps muscle), Segui (sore left knee), Melvin Mora (sore left elbow), Willie Harris (strained groin muscle), Mike Kinkade (bruised wrist) and Chris Richard (sore left shoulder) are all battling injuries. Only Anderson and Richard were able to play last night, with Anderson in left field and Richard limited to DH duties… .

Right-hander Juan Figueroa has cleared waivers and was given his outright release to Class AAA Rochester. Figueroa was designated for assignment Sept. 21 when infielder Casey Blake was claimed from the Minnesota Twins.

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