BALTIMORE, SEPT. 27 -- September's darlings returned to Memorial Stadium today.

What's that you say? It's too late, September is almost over and the Baltimore Orioles have no more home games?

Oh, well. Like Eddie Murray said before the game, "It's one of those years where it seems like everything is falling apart." The usually reticent Murray had some other interesting things to say in a pregame interview with Home Team Sports, the Orioles' cable television outlet, but more on that later.

Now, it's time to savor the details of the Orioles' 9-5 comeback victory over the New York Yankees that ended an eight-game losing streak and was, well, downright exciting.

Rookie catcher Carl Nichols was three for three with a walk. Rookie infielder Rene Gonzales, playing third base today, had two doubles, two runs scored and two RBI, including the game-winner in a five-run seventh inning. Reliever Jack O'Connor earned his first major league victory since Sept. 9, 1983, when he was a Minnesota Twin.

The Orioles stole bases, they went from first to third on base hits, they made aggressive plays in the field. Larry Sheets even hit his 30th home run of the season. He and Murray give the Orioles their first pair of 30-home run hitters in the same season since 1969, when Boog Powell hit 37 and Frank Robinson hit 32.

When it was over, the 28,191 fans stood and cheered. And the players heard them.

"It was really kind of nice, the way we played," said Sheets, who leads Baltimore in batting (.314) and RBI (92). "We had a lot of key hits and we played with a lot of enthusiasm. I thought the crowd got excited about it and hopefully we gave them something to think about over the winter."

Murray certainly did.

Before the game, Murray said on HTS: "It's amazing what one or two or three bad apples {fans} can do to a whole ballpark. Right now, with the situation in Baltimore, I don't think there are too many guys who like playing here . . .

"It could be time for me to move on," said Murray, who is in the first year of a five-year, $12.7 million contract. "Sometimes you feel you've worn out your welcome. There are some good things about the city, but there's no need for anybody to play under these conditions."

On the other hand, there's no need for a total of 1,835,692 fans to come out to the ballpark under these conditions:

A tie, so far, for the American League's worst record against one division in the 19 years of divisional play -- the Orioles are 15-56 against the AL East and 8-50 against the five teams ahead of them in the standings.

A pitching staff that, with every hit allowed the rest of the season, will set the club's single-season record (the current total is 1,492) and is within two home runs allowed of the major league record in that department (220).

Its worst home record (31-51).

Baltimore started its home season with a win and ended it with one.

"Yeah, but we didn't win enough damn games in between," Manager Cal Ripken Sr. snarled.

"To play the way we did and still draw 1.8 million says a lot for our support," Sheets said. "I wonder what the attendance would have been had we been in a pennant race."

The atmosphere would almost certainly have been like today's, with a festive, sun-drenched crowd cheering as the home team rallied from a 5-3, seventh-inning deficit.

Sheets started the seventh by grounding to first. Lee Lacy and Mike Young singled on consecutive pitches and starter Tommy John, who had retired eight of the previous nine hitters, was gone.

After fouling off three two-strike pitches from reliever Pat Clements (3-3), Nichols singled, tying the score at 5-5 and sending Young to third. Pete Stanicek singled to center off Bobby Meacham's glove for another run, Nichols steaming on to third with a head-first slide. Gonzales' double to right scored Nichols and finished Clements.

Neil Allen relieved and, after Cal Ripken Jr.'s line drive, Murray was intentionally walked to load the bases. Ray Knight then completed Baltimore's biggest rally since Aug. 7 with a two-run single that made it 8-5.

"We've been going about things the right way most of the time this year, but there have been times when we just haven't gotten the hits we've needed," Ripken Sr. said. "It was good to see them be able to make a comeback in a ball game, particularly the last ball game at home."

Orioles Notes:

Owner Edward Bennett Williams announced there will be no increase in ticket prices for next season.