BALTIMORE, SEPT. 1 -- The Baltimore Orioles entered September with their worst record in 31 years, with a team out of contention for the fourth straight season and with a lineup sprinkled with former Rochester Red Wings.

In a season when so much has gone wrong, the Orioles still managed to reach another first tonight during a 5-0 loss to Seattle.

Cal Ripken Jr., the Orioles' native son and all-star shortstop, was booed. Loudly.

Until tonight, the booing at Memorial Stadium had been reserved principally for first baseman Eddie Murray and pitcher Scott McGregor, but when Ripken struck out for the third time, with two runners on in the eighth inning, he heard an unfamiliar sound from the crowd of 12,985.

If the booing is a new experience for Ripken, so is the performance. After going zero for four tonight, he's hitting a season-low .252, a product of a slump in which he has batted .200 over a 38-game stretch.

Not that he's alone. Seattle's Scott Bankhead (8-8) and Bill Wilkinson combined on a three-hitter and Ken Phelps hit his 22nd homer as the Mariners beat the Orioles for the seventh time in 11 games, clinching their first season-series ever against the Orioles.

Ripken Jr. dressed quickly and left the stadium quietly, but his dad, Manager Cal Ripken Sr. said, "If you don't do well, people boo. If you do well, people cheer. That doesn't mean a thing. They've been doing it for 116 years."

Pressed on how it might affect his son, he said, "What do you want me to do, say it's not right? Has there ever been a player who has not been booed? People have short memories."

The Orioles (60-72) had only three hits: singles by Larry Sheets, Bill Ripken and Pete Stanicek, who made his major league debut.

Orioles rookie starter John Habyan (4-4) allowed four earned runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. As a starter, he is 0-4 with a 6.23 ERA; as a reliever, 4-0 with one save and a 3.19 ERA.

"I got slider-happy," Habyan said. "I throw a hard fastball and hard slider, and a change-up is really important. But I just got away from it. It's one of those times when I got caught up in the game and didn't use it. I can stand here now and think that I should have used more."

He said he didn't think starting jinxed him because, "In my position, you've got to be flexible."

Ripken Sr. excused him, saying, "He had a little bit of a bad day. He's entitled to a bad day along with everyone else. We didn't put any runs on the board for him."

The Mariners took a 1-0 lead in the second as Mike Kingery doubled to right, Dave Valle beat out an infield single and Rey Quinones singled to score Kingery.

It went to 2-0 in the third. Mickey Brantley led off with a double to left, went to third on Phil Bradley's grounder and scored on Terry Kennedy's passed ball.

Then in the sixth, Gary Matthews drew a leadoff walk and Phelps hit Habyan's next pitch over the right field fence, his second homer in as many nights. Seattle led, 4-0.

It became 5-0 in the seventh as Quinones singled off Habyan's glove and scored on Brantley's double to left.

Bankhead allowed only two hits in seven innings before turning the game over to Wilkinson. Sheets dumped a single to right in the fourth for Baltimore's first hit; the second came when Stanicek led off the sixth with a single.

"He did a great job," Seattle Manager Dick Williams said of Bankhead. "He was in control the whole way."

Bankhead hadn't won since June 17 and apparently had been in jeopardy of losing his spot in the rotation before tonight.

"I lost confidence in myself a little bit," he said, "and I was a little nervous out there. I got the ball down and was able to move it in and out. I'd been overthrowing quite a bit."

Orioles Notes:

As expected, the club announced that reliever Dave Schmidt will miss the remainder of the season because of a bone spur in his right elbow. Dr. Frank Jobe is expected to perform arthroscopic surgery next week in Los Angeles. Schmidt expects to be ready for spring training.