MILWAUKEE, JUNE 5 -- The Baltimore Orioles had their chances against the Milwaukee Brewers tonight. They had Brewers starting pitcher Jaime Navarro on the ropes in the third inning but couldn't knock him out. And they re-opened the door in the eighth when Milwaukee appeared to have it bolted shut.
But Baltimore was unable to captialize in key situations and lost, 6-4, bringing its three-game winning streak to a grinding halt.
The Brewers stayed within a half-game of Boston in the AL East. Baltimore fell four back.
"It doesn't matter who was out there, I don't care if it was Cy Young out there, if you have a guy in trouble, you have to take advantage of the situation," said Orioles Manager Frank Robinson of Navarro's ability to get out of the third inning. "That's what it's all about.
"They already gave us a run and it was up to us to do some damage to him."
Navarro walked the bases loaded, then walked Mickey Tettleton, forcing in Bill Ripken with one out in the third. Joe Orsulak then hit a fly ball that left fielder Mike Felder caught.
Felder then threw to catcher B.J. Surhoff, who blocked the plate and kept Steve Finley from scoring, ending the inning with Baltimore up just 1-0.
"We had our chances," Tettleton said. "But he made some good pitches and Felder made a nice throw and that was the inning."
Tettleton tried to make things interesting in the eighth after the Brewers had a 6-1 lead. But the damage done earlier by Milwaukee's left-handed hitters was too much to overcome.
When it looked like Milwaukee was going to run away with it, Tettleton stepped up to the plate in the eighth and crushed a three-run homer to straightaway center field to give the Orioles hope. It was his seventh of the season.
"That got us back into the game," Robinson said. "There were five more outs left, and with that shot, he got us back in the game."
Tettleton's homer was set up by singles by Phil Bradley and Steve Finley. Cal Ripken then grounded into a fielder's choice, forcing Finley at second base.
After reliever Tony Fossas gave up the homer, Milwaukee Manager Tom Trebelhorn pulled him in favor of Chuck Crim.
Kevin Hickey was supposed to be tough on left-handed batters, but the Orioles' reliever wasn't tonight. Left-handed-hitting Surhoff went three for four and ripped a home run in the sixth off Hickey.
But Surhoff wasn't the only lefty who did damage to Hickey. Shortstop Bill Spiers, right fielder Darryl Hamilton and first baseman Greg Brock also played a role in the victory.
Brock's sacrifice fly in the fourth inning allowed third baseman Gary Sheffield to score and gave the Brewers a 2-1 lead.
Navarro regained the composure he lost earlier and kept the Orioles at bay until the seventh when Fossas was brought in.
With one out in the sixth, Surhoff tagged a Hickey pitch over the right-center field wall to ultimately put the game out of reach.
"A lot of lefties like facing lefties," Surhoff said. "It makes me stay in there and see the ball.
"I was looking for a fastball and wanted to watch it all the way in. I was looking to hit the ball hard and it carried."
But unfortunately for Hickey and the Orioles, the Brewers were not done there.
Hamilton doubled down the right field line. Then Spiers took a ball the other way into the left-center gap and tripled when left fielder Bradley couldn't reach the ball. Hamilton scored and the Brewers led, 4-1.
"Normally, he's been pretty tough on us," Felder said of Hickey. "He usually has a real good curve ball but I don't think he had his best stuff tonight.
"He was throwing a lot of fastballs and wasn't getting his breaker over and I think that was the difference. We were able to jump on his fastball."
Robinson promptly pulled Hickey in favor of right-hander Brian Holton.
But the inning wasn't over. Felder hit a soft roller back to the mound and Holton threw the ball past first baseman Randy Milligan into right field, allowing Spiers to score.
In the seventh, Paul Molitor doubled to the left-center alley and Dave Parker hit a deep sacrifice fly to left field for the Brewers' final score.