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Bad Weather Sparks Mets

The Baltimore Orioles thought they had a victory when rain interrupted their game with the New York Mets.

Instead, the Orioles ended up getting beat. Actually, Baltimore manager Ray Miller had another term for it.

"We kind of got weatherized," Miller said after the Mets scored three runs off Arthur Rhodes in the seventh inning of a 6-3 victory Tuesday night.

The game was halted by rain in the middle of the sixth with Baltimore holding a 3-2 lead. At that point, Miller figured the tarp would remain intact while a rash of storms pelted the area.

"They told three to four hours of heavy rain was ahead," he said.

Not quite. The game was resumed following a delay of 1 hours, 26 minutes.

After John Hudek (1-4) pitched a scoreless sixth, the Mets came back.

Rhodes (3-3) came in for Alan Mills, who pitched 2 1-3 scoreless innings before the rain came. Matt Franco led off with a single and took second on a one-out single by Edgardo Alfonzo. After Mike Piazza flied out to deep right, Bernard Gilkey hit a two-run double into the right-field corner.

Butch Huskey followed with an RBI single for a 5-3 lead. Rey Ordonez added a run-scoring single off Armando Benitez in the eighth.

"We had our chances, but they just played a little bit better after the rain," Orioles catcher Lenny Webster said. "Credit them for coming back out and getting up to play."

John Franco, the sixth New York pitcher, worked the ninth for his 17th save.

It was only the second victory in seven games for the Mets, who got three hits apiece from Ordonez and Luis Lopez. New York was 4-20 when trailing after six innings.

"I guess it helped us, but we were going pretty good when it rained too," said Mets manager Bobby Valentine, who also thought the game might not resume after the tarp came out.

"The comeback was big. I think we had a good night of swinging the bat," Valentine said. "We had 15 hits and about 10 line drive outs."

The series moves to New York for two games Wednesday and Thursday.

The Orioles blew a 3-0 lead and missed a chance to close within a victory of .500 for the first time since May 16. Baltimore was 29-5 when leading after six innings and 3-0 in games with a rain delay.

"You've got a certain number of bullets to spend," Miller said, "and the delay kind of took us out of sequence."

Baltimore sent eight men to the plate against Masato Yoshii in the second inning and went up 3-0 on RBI singles by Mike Bordick, Brady Anderson and Eric Davis.

New York used four straight hits to close to 3-2 in the fourth. Todd Pratt, recalled from Triple-A Norfolk before the game, doubled in a run but was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a single by Lopez. Ordone followed with an RBI single to chase starter Doug Johns.

The rain delay occurred after Ordonez hit a high drive to left with two outs and a runner on in the sixth. The ball appeared to be stopped by the wind and B.J. Surhoff made the catch on the warning track.

"I felt that things were turning our way, even before the rain delay," Gilkey said.

Notes: The Mets' 7-8-9 hitters went 8-for-10. ... Only a tiny portion of the announced crowd of 46,385 remained for the finish. ... Gilkey was batting .167 with runners in scoring position and two outs. ... To make room for Pratt on the roster, the Mets designated utility player Jim Tatum for assignment. ... Surhoff threw out Pratt at the plate in the fourth, his eighth assist. ... Baltimore starters have failed to go six innings in 13 of 22 games this month.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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