It looks as if no lead is safe with these Baltimore Orioles in town. They were losing, 7-0, going into the seventh inning today; they scored five runs that inning, two in the eighth, four in the 10th and beat the Milwaukee Brewers, 11-8.
The Orioles swept three from the Brewers in Baltimore last week and won the opener here Monday night, so they've beaten the league champions five out of five in a week. They'll try for six at 7:30 Thursday, when the teams are to make up Tuesday's rainout.
Cal Ripken Jr. had a three-run home run in the seventh, two-run double in the 10th and did everything except drive in the lead run. That honor went to John Shelby.
Joe Nolan had led off the 10th with a routine grounder that first baseman Cecil Cooper played into a two-base throwing error. After Rich Dauer sacrificed, Shelby's single, his third hit of the day, made it 8-7.
There was more: Dan Ford walked and Ripken's double made it 10-7. Ripken took third on the throw home and scored on Eddie Murray's sacrifice fly.
"Boy, I'll tell you, we've had five games with these guys so far this season and they've been some kind of games," said Orioles Manager Joe Altobelli. "I can just imagine what that final series in Baltimore was like last season."
Earl Weaver was the Orioles' manager for that series in which the Orioles won three straight, then lost the division title on the season's last day. But the Brewers haven't beaten the Orioles since.
It looked as if they would today. Storm Davis, the Orioles' starter, didn't fool many hitters. The Brewers scored a run in the first, three in the second and two in the fifth.
Jim Palmer, who hadn't pitched since April 26, came out to work the sixth for the Orioles and the first two hitters must have made his back ache again, just a bit. Roy Howell singled and Mark Brouhard, whom the Brewers had in AAA until June 5, homered to make it 7-0. He's 11 for 20 since his recall.
But Palmer permitted no more damage through the eighth, and the Orioles finally solved left-hander Rick Waits in the seventh. Waits, making his first start since the Brewers got him from Cleveland last week, had allowed only four hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Leo Hernandez and Lenn Sakata singled and Rick Dempsey doubled to drive in the Orioles' first run and finish Waits.
Tom Tellmann walked Shelby on four pitches to load the bases. Ford's sacrifice fly to right made it 7-2, then Ripken homered into the left field seats and it was 7-5.
"We were kind of dragging before that," Ripken said. "When it's 7-0, you think maybe it's just not your day. Games like that do happen. Then we looked up at the scoreboard and saw it was 7-5. Hey, we've still got a chance to win this thing."
The Orioles tied the score in the eighth. With two out, Hernandez singled and John Lowenstein, pinch hitting for Sakata, walked. Bob Gibson replaced Tellmann and Ken Singleton, batting for Dempsey, singled. With the score 7-6, Shelby's single scored Lowenstein to tie the game.
"Today might top everything," said Brewers Manager Harvey Kuenn. "To have a 7-0 lead and get beat in extra innings is tough, especially against a team in first place, a team you're trying to catch."