All Doug Linton did was pitch a two-hitter into the seventh inning for the Royals on Thursday night at Kansas City.
“It’s Cal Ripken’s day,” Linton said after the Royals beat the Baltimore Orioles, 10-2.
Every day is Ripken’s day, at least for the last 2,215 days the Orioles have played. That ties a world record, set by Sachio Kinugasa between 1970-87 in Japan, and Ripken can break it tonight.
He got one of the singles off Linton on Thursday and downplayed the significance of the event, considered something of a novelty after his breaking Lou Gehrig’s 2,130-game major league streak last season.
“I was just out there trying to keep our team in a game we needed very much to win,” he said.
The event is playing much different than Ripken’s breaking Gehrig’s streak last season.
There were only 20,108 fans in attendance Thursday. In the middle of the fifth inning, when the game became official, the crowd stood and cheered for 2 minutes 15 seconds. Ripken doffed his cap, waved to the fans and then got back to business.
He did, however, appreciate the warm applause from the road crowd.
“It makes you feel great. I really felt like a member of the Kansas City Royals tonight,” he said. “Given the score, I almost wish I was.”
The Orioles struggled, in part, because of the pitching of Linton (2-2) and relievers Tim Pugh and Mike Magnante, who finished a three-hitter. Linton struck out six and gave up a run on a Brady Anderson homer. He retired 13 of the last 14 batters he faced before being replaced by Magnante with two out in the seventh inning.
The Orioles’ problem was also their own pitching. Kent Mercker (3-5) lasted only 2 2/3 innings, giving up eight hits and five runs.
Craig Paquette had four RBIs and keyed a four-run first inning with his second three-run home run in two days as the Royals ended a four-game losing streak.
“I didn’t have my good stuff,” Mercker said. “I guess they don’t have too much patience with me. They had a guy warming up in the first, second and third.”
Boston 8, Texas 7--Alex Delgado singled home the winning run in the 10th inning with his second major league hit and the Red Sox came from behind four times to win at Boston.
The Red Sox, who lead the major leagues with 15 extra-inning games, tied the score, 7-7, on John Valentin’s seventh homer of the season with one out in the 10th.
Mo Vaughn then walked against Mike Henneman (0-4) before Bill Haselman drew an intentional walk with two outs. Delgado, who entered the game in the ninth as a pinch-runner, then ripped a single down the left-field line off Dennis Cook.
Heathcliff Slocumb (2-5) got the win despite giving up the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th inning on a bases-loaded RBI grounder by Ivan Rodriguez.
Cleveland 6, New York 2--Orel Hershiser and two relievers combined on a five-hitter and Eddie Murray drove in three runs for the Indians, who won at New York.
Hershiser (6-4) gave up one run on four hits and struck out five in 7 1/3 innings before giving way to Paul Assenmacher. Paul Shuey finished up for his first save.
Murray hit his seventh homer after Yankee starter Kenny Rogers (4-3) issued a walk to Manny Ramirez leading off the seventh inning.
Murray had a bases-loaded single in the eighth off reliever Jeff Nelson to drive in another run.
Milwaukee 16, Oakland 3--John Jaha hit two home runs, including a 458-foot shot that nearly cleared the County Stadium bleachers, in the Brewers’ rout of Oakland at Milwaukee.
Pat Listach drove in three runs and Matt Mieske went three for three with a triple and a homer for the Brewers, who roughed up A’s starter Steve Wojciechowski for nine runs, six earned, and nine hits and a balk in 4 2/3 innings.
The A’s bullpen struggled too. Todd Van Poppel gave up four runs on four hits in two-thirds of an inning, and Carlos Reyes gave up three runs and six hits in 2 2/3 innings.