Ivan Calderon's pinch-hit, three-run homer in the eighth off Tippy Martinez tied Baltimore, and Jim Presley's ninth-inning single off Don Aase drove in the winning run and enabled the Mariners to beat the Orioles, 8-7, tonight in the Kingdome.
The Orioles suffered a rare but total bullpen collapse, and all of Seattle's final four runs came after two were out. Baltimore took a 7-4 lead into the eighth, behind Fred Lynn's four hits and three by Eddie Murray, who broke out of his prolonged slow start to raise his average to .268.
But all of Baltimore's hitting couldn't help in the final two innings. Sammy Stewart and Martinez (1-2) had come on in the seventh to get the Orioles out of a jam. But Martinez allowed a two-out single to Alvin Davis in the ninth. Aase then came on and gave up Dave Henderson's single and Presley's game-winning hit, which rolled all the way to wall in left center.
Presley's third game-winning run batted in of the season spoiled what should have been a victory for Storm Davis, who gave up four runs in the first two innings to fall behind, 4-1, but settled down to face only one batter more than the minimum over the next four innings.
The Orioles pulled within 4-3 on Murray's sacrifice fly in the fourth, tied the game in the fifth on another single by Murray and went ahead one batter later when Lynn doubled in a run.
Seattle's bullpen help for starter Jim Beattie wasn't much better. But 21-year-old fast-baller Edwin Nunez (2-0) got the victory because of his teammates' hitting in the eighth and ninth.
It took all of about two minutes for the Mariners to announce they were playing the game under protest, which, with the Mariners' victory, became moot. Jim Dwyer, the second batter of the game, hit a fly to left field.
Phil Bradley caught the ball, brought his glove down to waist level to begin his throw back into the infield, then dropped the ball. Third base umpire Greg Kosc ruled Bradley had never caught the ball.
Seattle got what schoolchildren call "cheaters' proof" when Cal Ripken, the next batter, grounded into a double play that ended the inning.
Baltimore didn't get out of the bottom half of the first so easily. Storm Davis, who entered the game with an earned run average of 5.94, spotted Seattle a 3-0 lead, with a little help from third baseman Wayne Gross.
He fielded Jack Perconte's leadoff bunt and threw it into right field for a two-base error that landed Perconte on third. Bradley's grounder scored the first run.
And Al Cowens singled to right before Ken Phelps -- the man who last year had the AL's best home runs/at-bat ratio (1:12.1) -- hit an opposite field home run that pushed Seattle's lead to 3-0.
Baltimore managed one run in the second to pull within 3-1. Murray and Lynn singled, and Murray scored on Larry Sheets' double play grounder.
Perconte, the man the Orioles tried to trade for last winter, singled in the second, stole second off Davis -- who never checked first base -- and went to third on Bradley's dinky infield hit.
The Orioles were as infuriated on the next play as Seattle was in the first inning. Each call appeared equally as miserable.
Cowens hit a medium-deep fly to right field that Lee Lacy caught while charging toward the infield. He threw perfectly to the plate on one bounce to catcher Rick Dempsey, who blocked the plate and appeared to tag Perconte.
But home plate umpire Rick Reed called Perconte safe, sending Dempsey into a raging dance, and Seattle to a 4-1 lead.
Baltimore came back with two runs in the fourth. Dwyer singled to start the inning, then Ripken tripled off the center field fence.
Murray's sacrifice fly to the warning track in left made it 4-3. Murray, finally starting to hit after his prolonged slow start, also singled across the run that made it 4-4 in the fifth inning. Again, it was Dwyer who started the rally, though this time with two out. His single to right preceded Ripken's walk and Murray's bloop hit to the opposite field.
And before the Orioles could get any further shots at Beattie, Manager Chuck Cottier brought in left-handed Dave Geisel to face left-handed Lynn.
Lynn made a mockery of the percentages by bouncing a ball into center field to give Baltimore a 5-4 lead.
The Orioles fell into third place in the AL East, half a game behind the Detroit Tigers and one game behind the Toronto Blue Jays.