- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 23, 2002

OAKLAND, Calif. Calvin Maduro stood on the pitcher's mound at Network Associates Coliseum during the second inning of yesterday's game, having just given up a three-run homer to cap a five-run inning but knowing he was not going to be pulled no matter what.
Such is the case when you're 12 hours removed from a 14-inning affair that burned up the Baltimore Orioles' bullpen and left manager Mike Hargrove with no choice but to force Maduro to as they say take one for the team.
"That's what I had in my mind in the second inning," said Maduro, who made it through the fourth in the Orioles' 7-6 loss to the Oakland Athletics. "I knew I was still in there. I wanted to go at least seven or eight innings to give the bullpen rest."
Maduro couldn't get that far, but by sucking it up through that disastrous second inning, he did allow Hargrove to keep his overworked bullpen in relatively decent shape.
Hargrove had to use No.5 starter Sean Douglass for 3-1/3; innings in relief of Maduro, which killed any chance of Douglass making his scheduled start Saturday in Seattle. Barring the promotion of someone from the minor leagues, Hargrove will give rookie Travis Driskill his first career start at Safeco Field.
But Maduro's four innings did save the rest of the Baltimore bullpen, which combined for 7-2/3; innings in Tuesday night's 6-4, 14-inning win.
"We had to get innings out of our starter today, plain and simple," Hargrove said. "We had to take the good with the bad, and we took it as long as we could and got to a point to where we could go to the bullpen. There's times when you just have to bite the bullet, and today was one of those days."
Yesterday's outing was far and away the worst of the season for Maduro (2-4), who wound up allowing six runs on 10 hits in four innings. Unable to keep his pitches down in the strike zone, Maduro was particularly ineffective in the second inning, in which he gave up three doubles and a three-run blast to A's outfielder Larry Sutton.
Following his departure before the fifth inning, Maduro went straight to the Orioles' clubhouse to review video of his performance, and he vowed to correct the problem when he makes his next start against the same Oakland team Tuesday at Camden Yards.
"They're a high-ball hitting club, and my fastball stayed up all day," he said. "It won't be the same when we get home."
In spite of Maduro's early troubles, the Orioles kept themselves in the game, thanks to Douglass' strong effort in relief and an aggressive offense that stole four bases in six attempts and made a concerted effort to go after an extra base each time the opportunity presented itself.
Sometimes, that strategy worked, such as with Brian Roberts' hustle to score from second base when A's third baseman Eric Chavez lost a popup in the sun. Sometimes, it didn't, such as Chris Singleton's three failed attempts to advance an extra base (once at second base, once at third and once at home).
"It was kind of weird," said Singleton, who batted third for the first time all year and responded with two hits, a walk and three RBI. "I kept getting in those situations. I almost went for the cycle."
A three-run fifth that knocked out Oakland starter Erik Hiljus brought the Orioles within 6-5, but they gave up an insurance run in the eighth when left-hander Buddy Groom came in for Douglass and allowed a run-scoring single by Eric Byrnes.
It was the first of 12 inherited runners that Groom has allowed to score this season, and it proved costly when Baltimore added a run in the ninth off A's closer Billy Koch.
"That's what I'm mad about, because if I don't give up the run, we could still be playing," Groom said. "The only one of the year this late in May, I'll take that any day. But I still hate to give them up."


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