- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 27, 2008

BALTIMORE | For Scott Richmond and Curtis Thigpen, it was an unforgettable night of personal achievement.

For the Baltimore Orioles, it was just another depressing defeat - this one in a cold, miserable rain.

Richmond pitched six innings of four-hit ball to earn his first major league victory and the Toronto Blue Jays handed the Orioles their 10th straight loss Friday night, winning 3-0 in a game halted by rain in the seventh.

Thigpen hit his first big league homer in the seventh, minutes before umpires called for the tarp. After a delay of one hour, five minutes, the game was called.

Under current major league rules, all statistics count up to the time the game is stopped. So Thigpen, who thought his homer had been washed away, was told by reporters afterward that it counted in the books.

He thrust his arms in the air and announced, “They changed the rule!”

Before learning that the drive counted, Thigpen threw the home-run ball across the clubhouse. But he got it back, and will almost certainly find a place for the souvenir during the offseason.

“Everybody in the locker room was coming and giving me a hug because they felt sorry for me,” Thigpen said. “We almost had a funeral here.”

Like Thigpen, Richmond also got a memory to savor this winter. The 14th Canadian to appear in a Jays uniform, Richmond (1-3) struck out three, walked none, and didn’t allow a runner past second base.

“It’s a great way to go out,” he said. “I’ve been battling the whole year, and I’m excited where I’ve gotten to this year,” the right-hander said. “It’s good to go out on a high note, show I can compete on this level.”

Richmond allowed three earned runs in each of his previous four starts in the majors. But he found success against a slumping Baltimore club that has lost 27 of 32.

“Not very good conditions for the ball to carry tonight - heavy air and a thick, grassy infield,” Orioles outfielder Luke Scott said.

Manager Dave Trembley lamented, “We hit some balls hard in the first couple of innings, but right at them.”

The 10-game skid is the Orioles’ longest since they lost 12 in a row in August 2004.

Richmond outpitched rookie Chris Waters (3-5), who allowed three runs and nine hits in six-plus innings.

A steady rain began in second inning, adding to an already dreary atmosphere. The announced crowd was 17,716, but fewer than 10,000 fans showed up for the game between the bottom two teams in the AL East.

Only once in the opening five innings did a team get a runner in scoring position. Adam Lind hit a one-out double in the Toronto fourth before Scott Rolen struck out and Travis Snider grounded out.

Rolen hit a two-out RBI double in the sixth to put Toronto up 1-0.

Thigpen struck out his first two at-bats against Waters and was 1-for-11 this season before hitting a drive to left. It was his first home run in 113 at-bats in the majors.

John McDonald followed with a single, and Marco Scutaro chased Waters with a single. After Lance Cormier gave up a run-scoring grounder to Jose Bautista, umpires stopped play.

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