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O's Hold On Against Phillies

The Baltimore Orioles can go into the All-Star break feeling good about themselves.

Too bad the 34-51 record they had before their current two-game winning streak still counts.

Scott Erickson pitched eight strong innings and the Orioles ended their terrible first half with two straight wins, beating the Philadelphia Phillies 6-2 Sunday.

"Hopefully we'll come back and win a lot of ballgames," Orioles manager Ray Miller said. "Hopefully we'll pitch better in the second half. We made some strides the past two days."

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Game Summary

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  • Erickson, who started the season 1-8, allowed two runs and six hits to win his third straight decision. He struck out three and walked four.

    In a stunning turn of events but a pleasing one for Miller the Orioles' bullpen finished the first half with three straight scoreless innings. Mike Timlin pitched a perfect ninth for the second straight day.

    Then again, Timlin's last two appearances of the season were not save situations. He leads the majors with eight blown saves, and the Orioles also are tops in baseball with 20 blown saves.

    "Timlin took his time between pitches," Miller said. "That's what we've been trying to do."

    Brady Anderson had three hits, Will Clark was 2-for-4 and Albert Belle added a two-run double. Cal Ripken, 3-for-31 in his career against Phillies starter Chad Ogea, got a rare day off.

    The Orioles, who finished the first half 15 games below .500, rocked Ogea (4-9) for four runs and seven hits in four innings. Although the Phillies (46-40) lost their second straight, they have their best record at the All-Star break since they were 39-29 in 1995.

    "We're not where we want to be," manager Terry Francona said. "We're getting better, I can feel it. I do think we're on the right track."

    Erickson (4-8), the majors' premier groundball pitcher, needed only three outfield putouts in his second consecutive strong outing. He allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings against Toronto in his last start, his fourth straight no-decision.

    "I messed p early in the season," Erickson said. "Over the last couple of starts, I've been progressing in the right direction."

    Ron Gant broke up Erickson's shutout bid with an RBI triple in the eighth, and he scored on Bobby Abreu's groundout for the Phillies' only runs.

    Ogea's first chance to be a regular starter was a bust at the All-Star break. He had a 5.43 ERA and allowed 114 hits in 104 1-3 innings, making it past the sixth inning only five times in 19 starts.

    Asked if he was glad the first half was over, Ogea said, "Heck, yeah."

    "It seemed like every time I tried to do something, it would go wrong," Ogea said. "I'll just take a few days with my family and try to get away from the game."

    B.J. Surhoff made it 1-0 with an RBI double that missed going over the right-field fence by a couple of feet. Clark's double made it 2-0, and Ogea escaped a 21-minute first inning with minimal damage by getting Jerry Hairston to fly out with the bases loaded.

    Charles Johnson drove in Clark, who doubled, with a double off the top of the left-field wall for a 3-0 lead in the third. Hairston led off the fourth and scored on Anderson's RBI single.


  • San Diego Padres manager Bruce Bochy said Sunday he was leaning toward selecting Phillies ace Curt Schilling to start the All-Star game. Schilling, seen accepting congratulations after the game, wouldn't say. "I've got a pretty good idea," Schilling said. "The manager is going to announce it tomorrow, and we'll all have fun talking about it tomorrow. It's not my job to announce it." It would be Schilling's first All-Star start
  • Clark had been 0-for-7 in his career against Ogea before singling and doubling in his first two at-bats
  • Phillies catcher Mike Lieberthal, who came in with a .415 average and 11 of his 18 homers in day games, was 0-for-2 with two strikeouts
  • An oldie but goodie: Scott Rolen last week became the third Phillies player this century to have an inside- and outside-the-park homer in the same game. Johnny Callison did it in 1963, and Dick Allen in 1966.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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