Eddie Murray and Alan Wiggins dropped balls, and the Baltimore Orioles dropped another game, losing to the Toronto Blue Jays, 2-1, before 20,524 at Memorial Stadium tonight.
This one hurt the Orioles, dropping them to 8-8 and four games behind the New York Yankees, and had their clubhouse silent and their manager cursing.
"If we give up two runs every night, we'll win a lot of damn games," Earl Weaver said. "We won't even worry about these plays when we make up our mind to start driving in some runs. We'll just watch 'em run across home plate.
"We had eight guys out for extra hitting today. We hit for an hour and 15 minutes and that just goes to tell you what I knew all the time: Batting practice isn't the answer."
If he was more angry than usual, it was because this one was tougher. The Orioles had been one out away from winning a 1-0 game in the top of the ninth inning when Jesse Barfield's home run off starter Storm Davis tied it.
Then the Blue Jays won it in the 10th with a run that belongs partly to reliever Don Aase (1-2) and partly to Murray and Wiggins.
Toronto shortstop Tony Fernandez led off the 10th with his third single of the game, but he should have been erased when Rance Mulliniks followed by hitting a hard two-hopper toward first baseman Murray.
But as Murray was picking the ball out of his glove to begin what should have been a double play, he dropped it. He picked it up in time to get Mulliniks at first, but he allowed the winning run to get to second base.
Aase (1-2) walked Willie Upshaw, and Weaver went for Rich Bordi to pitch to left fielder George Bell, who struck out.
Right fielder Barfield then lifted a ball into shallow right-center field. Second baseman Wiggins sprinted back, circled away from and back under the ball, got to it -- and dropped it for an RBI double.
"You get back as hard as you can and see if you can get to it," Wiggins said. "I got there, but the ball popped out of my glove."
Wiggins' fielding at second always has been suspect, but it is Murray's sudden decline that worries the Orioles. He won Gold Gloves in 1982, 1983 and 1984, but a year ago, his 19 errors led all American League first basemen.
He has been charged with only one error this season -- tonight's misplay went unrecorded because the batter was put out -- but he also failed to field a pickoff throw in Texas that helped cost the Orioles a run and a victory.
Tonight's game was scoreless until the eighth when the Orioles got an unearned run off reliever Mark Eichhorn (2-0). Wiggins led off the inning with a single into center, and when Toronto center fielder Lloyd Moseby dropped the ball, Wiggins went to second.
Lee Lacy moved Wiggins to third by grounding out to the pitcher, and Cal Ripken scored him on a sacrifice fly to left.
Davis got the first two outs of the ninth, but then got a pitch across the middle of the plate to Barfield to tie the game. When Davis walked Cliff Johnson, Weaver went for Aase, who made matters worse by allowing Rick Leach's pinch single to left and walking Damaso Garcia to load the bases.
He got out of the ninth, though, by getting Moseby on a fly ball to left.
Despite the home run, Davis was terrific, allowing six hits and three walks in 8 2/3 innings and lowering his ERA to 1.13.
"I felt pretty good all night," Davis said. "I just hung a slider and he got it. I made a mistake, and he jumped all over it. He could easily have popped it up."
Barfield said: "Oh, man, it felt real good. I got a hanging breaking ball in the second that I should've hit. Sooner or later, if you keep throwing breaking balls and breaking balls, you're going to hang a few. That's the price you have to pay sometimes."
Toronto starter Doyle Alexander also was excellent, pitching seven shutout innings and allowing the Orioles eight hits and no walks before being taken out.
The Orioles had a couple of early chances against Alexander, but they left runners on second and third in the first inning and hit into double plays in the second and third.
Davis was even better than Alexander, allowing only three hits the first six innings.
After Moseby singled in the third, the Blue Jays didn't get another hit until Barfield led off the seventh with a single, and Davis promptly picked him off first, the fifth pickoff by an Orioles pitcher this season.
Reliever Tippy Martinez was placed on the 21-day disabled list today, and Nate Snell is being brought up from Class AAA Rochester. Martinez is bothered by an inner-ear problem that causes dizziness, and doctors have yet to find out what the problem is. He's on the 21-day disabled list because teams can put only one pitcher at a time on the 15-day list, and the Orioles already have Mike Boddicker there. In five games for Rochester, Snell was 0-1 with two saves and a 6.00 ERA. He was hit hard in his first appearance, but in his last four he had worked 4 2/3 shutout innings, allowing three hits . . .
Dating back to last season, Aase has allowed a run in only three of his last 22 appearances . . . The Orioles are hitting a crisp .192 with runners in scoring position . . . In Davis' last 11 starts, dating back to Aug. 10, he has won six of seven decisions and has a 2.21 ERA.