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Ripken Treated To Triple Play

The same day Baltimore's manager made a comeback, Cal Ripken returned to the Orioles, and the team turned a triple play to boot.

Ripken, out since June 28 because of lower back pain, was activated from the 15-day disabled list and in Baltimore's lineup at designated hitter for Friday night's game against the Cleveland Indians.

"Is it official yet?" Ripken asked when told he was penciled in at DH. "I'm excited about it. (Last night) felt a little bit like the night before opening day. I had a little trouble sleeping."

Ripken singled in the second inning in his first at-bat in more than two months.

The Orioles turned the 12th triple play in their history in the bottom half of the inning, and there can't be a more bizarre one in the dozen.

Cleveland had runners at first and second with none out when Sandy Alomar hit a pop fly into short left, about 15 feet off the infield dirt.

Shortstop Melvin Mora went back for the ball, but instead of catching it, he purposely let it drop. Indians runners, Travis Fryman at second, and Wil Cordero at first, never left their bases, thinking the infield-fly rule would be called.

But none of the umpires made a ruling, and Mora alertly threw to second baseman Jerry Hairston, who tagged Fryman for the first out. Meanwhile, Alomar apparently thinking he was out automatically on the infield fly, went back to the Indians' dugout.

Hairston then threw to first, but umpire Ian Lamplugh ruled Cordero safe. However, with Orioles manager Mike Hargrove and Indians skipper Charlie Manuel both on the field, and players running all over the place, Cordero was called out on a force at second.

As the Orioles players began running off the field, Manuel went nose-to-nose with second-base umpire Rocky Roe. Manuel had no luck with Roe and began pleading his case to crew chief John Shulock at third.

Manuel was ejected, and the official scorer was still awaiting word on how Alomar was called out, but because he ran out back to the dugout he was automatically out.

The Orioles had not turned a triple play since Aug. 25, 1992, against the California Angels.

The Indians last hit into a triple play on Aug. 8, 1988, when Joe Carter did it against Minnesota.

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