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Archive for Saturday, May 4, 2002

Rookie’s mistakes cost KC - Orioles 4, Royals 3

Brito’s passed ball gives Baltimore victory

May 4, 2002

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— Juan Brito was the center of attention in his major league debut, for reasons he would prefer to forget.

Mike Bordick scored the tiebreaking run on Brito's passed ball in the eighth inning, and the Baltimore Orioles kept Kansas City Royals interim manager John Mizerock winless with a 4-3 victory Friday night.

The Orioles trailed 3-2 in the seventh before rallying to hand the Royals their fourth straight defeat since Mizerock took over for Tony Muser, who was fired Tuesday.

"Pretty soon we're going to turn it around. We'll be on the other side of these one-run games," Mizerock said.

With the score 3-all, Bordick opened the eighth with a double off Cory Bailey (0-4) and moved to third on a sacrifice. With Jerry Hairston at the plate, Brito let a pitch get past him, and Bordick scored standing up.

"I kind of lost it a little bit. It just got away," said Brito, called up from Triple-A Omaha on Wednesday because starter Brett Mayne is hobbled with back spasms.

Brito was thrown out at the plate earlier in the game and barely missed completing a triple play in a crucial situation in the seventh inning.

"That's the game of baseball," he said. "A lot of things can happen to you in one night."

Marty Cordova had three hits, including a homer, and drove in two runs for the Orioles, who improved to 5-0 against the Royals. Jeff Conine also had three hits, and Gary Matthews Jr. scored two runs.

"We had to grind it out tonight," Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said. "It was good to see everyone stay on top of things. We did the things we needed to do to win."

Willis Roberts (1-1) pitched 1 1/3 innings, and Jorge Julio worked the ninth for his fifth save.

Chuck Knoblauch scored twice and Michael Tucker had three hits for the Royals, who have lost 15 of 19.

Kansas City rookie Jeremy Affeldt, making his first major league start after seven relief appearances, allowed one run and four hits in four innings before being pulled after 67 pitches.

Baltimore starter Scott Erickson, who blanked the Royals on Sunday, allowed two earned runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings.

Erickson left after walking Knoblauch on four pitches with two outs in the seventh and the score tied at 2. Tucker then doubled off B.J. Ryan, and Knoblauch scored when Tony Batista botched a grounder to third for an error.

But the Orioles pulled even in the bottom half when Matthews scampered home from third on a double-play grounder by Batista. Matthews beat the tag by touching the outside of the plate with a headfirst slide.

"It was a pretty close play. I thought I got him, I thought I tagged him out," Brito said. "It would have been nice in my first game to have the triple play."

The Royals jumped on Erickson for two runs in the first. Knoblauch led off with a single and advanced to third on a double by Tucker. Mike Sweeney followed with an RBI single, and Joe Randa hit a sacrifice fly.

Cordova hit his second homer of the season leading off the second.

Brito led off the fifth with his first major league hit, an infield single, but was thrown out by second baseman Hairston while trying to score on a grounder. The Royals then loaded the bases with two outs before Carlos Beltran lined out to center.

Cordova tied it in the bottom half against reliever Blake Stein with a two-out RBI single.

Notes: David Segui was scratched from the Orioles' starting lineup minutes before the game with a sore left wrist. ... Melvin Mora was hit by a pitch for the team-leading seventh time in the Baltimore first, then was caught stealing for the team-high fourth time. ... Orioles C Brook Fordyce went 0-for-3 and is 1-for-32 this season. ... The Royals have allowed nine homers in five games against the Orioles.

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