BALTIMORE, JUNE 10 -- The record book says Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken played his 1,307th consecutive game today, tying Everett Scott for the second-longest consecutive game streak in major league history. But Ripken says he has played in only 57 consecutive games.

"The biggest myth of the whole streak is the fact that you have played 1,307 games in a row," he said. "The most you can play in a row is 162 games, or if you're lucky enough to be in the playoffs or World Series, you add a few more. But then you get four months off just like everybody else. If you were to ask me what the streak is now, I would say 50-some games or whatever we've played this year. It's just a streak of consecutive years playing every game."

With several more of those years, Ripken will begin to close on Lou Gehrig's record 2,130 consecutive games.

"I fight against that thought every day of the year," Ripken said. "Everybody asks me that all the time, and I just want to continue trying to go out and do the things I can do and approach the game the same way. . . . I've been successful just trying to prepare myself one game at a time."

Even though he has been mired in a hitting slump he called "one of the most frustrating I've ever been in," he continues to shine in the field. Today he extended his career-best errorless streak to 54 games.

His day at the plate was about the usual recently: inconsistent, but there was a sign he might be coming to life. In the first, he lined out to left with Steve Finley at second. He singled with none on in the third, struck out on a pitch in the dirt in the fifth, walked in the seventh and flied out to end the game.

"I can see light at the end of the tunnel," said Ripken, who is six for his last 21 to raise his average to .217, but 14 for his last 82.

Merrill Has a Ball

After defeating the Orioles, 5-2, today for their first victory in five games under Manager Stump Merrill, the Yankees celebrated by giving him the ball with which Ripken made the final out.

"Every time I turned around, people were asking me, 'What day is it {the first victory} going to be?' " Merrill said. "This definitely will make tomorrow {an off-day} a lot shorter. It would have been a miserable day if we had lost this one." . . .

Yankees outfielder Jesse Barfield went two for four with three runs batted in today. In five games against Baltimore this season, he is batting .450 (nine for 20) with three home runs and seven RBI. . . . Today's crowd at Memorial Stadium was 47,617 -- the Orioles' largest at home since opening day. The total attendance for the three-game series was 137,056 -- the third-largest total for a three-date series at Memorial Stadium. . . .

Orioles infielders have not made an error in 14 consecutive games.