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An Eight-Hour Workday

Baltimore and San Francisco Log 23 Innings in Doubleheader: Giants 9-4, Orioles 6-5

By Josh Barr
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 13, 2004; Page E01

BALTIMORE, June 12 -- Barry Bonds and Rafael Palmeiro made history Saturday, Bonds inching closer to the only two players ahead of him on baseball's career home run list and Palmeiro catching, then passing another legend in the record books.

Bonds led the San Francisco Giants with his 675th career home run, and Palmeiro homered twice for the Baltimore Orioles, making it just the third time, and the first in 33 years, that two players with more than 500 career home runs have connected in the same game.


Barry Bonds is congratulated as he reaches dugout after 675th home run of his career, giving Giants a 1-0 lead. Rodrigo Lopez became his 400th victim. (Joel Richardson -- The Washington Post)

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Those long balls provided the highlights to a marathon day -- and night -- of baseball that ended with the Orioles following their 9-6, 11-inning loss in the opener by salvaging a split of the day-night doubleheader with a 5-4 victory in 12 innings. The two games combined took 8 hours 16 minutes, with an intermission of about an hour in between. The teams combined to make 22 pitching changes, with several relievers appearing in both games.

After those long balls, the Orioles wasted a best-case scenario in the bottom of the ninth, and San Francisco catcher A.J. Pierzynski led off the 11th inning with a home run to oust the Orioles before 48,869, the largest crowd of the season and sixth-largest ever at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

"The fans got a kick out of [the home runs] today," Orioles Manager Lee Mazzilli said between games. "But we still came up short."

The second game didn't have nearly as much kick. The Orioles walked Bonds five times, four intentionally. Many in the crowd of 40,434 booed as soon as catcher Robert Machado stuck his left arm out to signal the free passes; Bonds reached on an error in his other at-bat and scored his only run of the game.

Bonds's five walks matched a career high and his intentional walks were one shy of the major league record held by Andre Dawson. It was the third game this season Bonds has been intentionally walked four times.

Melvin Mora drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the 12th inning, then moved to third on a single by Miguel Tejada, his first hit in 11 at-bats on the day. Javy Lopez struck out, Palmeiro was intentionally walked and Larry Bigbie followed with a soft hit to center field just out of the reach of Michael Tucker.

The Orioles (27-31) had scored twice in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie it at 4, with Brian Roberts's bases-loaded walk forcing in Lopez with the tying run.

Saturday's first game, a 3-hour 56-minute marathon was all about home runs, starting with Bonds effortlessly sending two balls onto Eutaw Street beyond the right field wall -- but short of the B&O Warehouse -- during batting practice. The teams then combined for six home runs in the game.

The Orioles pitched to Bonds and used a defensive shift that had shortstop Tejada looking like a second baseman and second baseman Roberts in shallow right field. After grounding out to first in his initial at-bat, Bonds deposited a 1-0 slider just a few rows into the left field seats for a solo home run in the third inning, his 17th homer this season and 675th of his career, behind only Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).

"Part of history, huh?" said the Orioles' Rodrigo Lopez when informed that he was the 400th pitcher to give up a home run to Bonds. Lopez said that was the only time he attacked Bonds, who finished 3 for 6.

While many fans headed to concessions and the restrooms after Bonds's home run, Palmeiro brought the remaining crowd back to its feet in the bottom of the inning when he pulled a 1-1 fastball over the right field wall for a two-run home run and a 3-1 lead. It was Palmeiro's first homer since May 27.

The last time two players with more than 500 home runs went deep in the same game was on May 8, 1971, when Bonds's godfather, Willie Mays, and Aaron accomplished the feat. The other time it happened was on June 17, 1970, with Mays and Ernie Banks.

Palmeiro wasn't done. When the Orioles fell behind 5-4 after Lopez and reliever Rick Bauer combined to allow four runs in the sixth inning, Palmeiro hit a solo home run to center field in the bottom of the eighth to tie the score at 5. His ninth homer of the season was the 537th of his career, moving him past Mickey Mantle for 11th place on the career list.

"When I grew up, all my dad talked about was Mickey," Palmeiro said. "To me, he was the guy. To tie and pass him on the same day, I never thought that would happen to me.

"It's nice and all, but we lost. It would have been a lot nicer if we had won."

The Orioles failed to score in the bottom of the ninth after loading the bases with no outs, then saw closer Jorge Julio struggle again in the 11th, allowing Pierzynski to line a 2-0 fastball into the right field bleachers. Four singles and a walk led to three more runs, and Mazzilli had to bring in Buddy Groom to get the final out. It was the sixth consecutive appearance that Julio (1-2) has allowed at least one run.

"He's got to work out of it," Mazzilli said.

Orioles Note: Jay Gibbons, on the disabled list because of back spasms, played seven innings in right field in the first game of a doubleheader for Class AA Bowie. Gibbons, who is expected to be activated Monday, went 0 for 2 with a walk and a run scored.


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