BALTIMORE, JUNE 13 -- Bad night for the Ripkens, worse night for the Baltimore Orioles.

Cal Ripken Jr. was dropped to the sixth spot in the order -- the farthest down the ladder he's been since 1982 -- and then went hitless again. Bill Ripken was thrown out of the game after diving into first base, being called out and slamming his helmet to the ground in anger. Third base coach Cal Ripken Sr. had a relatively calm night. Too calm, though, as only two Orioles crossed the plate and the Milwaukee Brewers departed Memorial Stadium with a 7-2 victory.

The 27,825 witnesses tonight saw little of the spunk and spirit the Orioles displayed in their dramatic 4-3 victory Tuesday night. The Brewers -- who got two-run home runs from Greg Brock and Dave Parker and four hits from B.J. Surhoff -- took a 4-0 lead and were not challenged. Mark Knudson (4-3) replaced starter Ted Higuera (injured groin) in the first inning and held the Orioles to one run through 6 2/3 innings.

Cal Ripken had not batted lower than fifth since the last game of the 1982 season, also against Milwaukee.

"It's the manager's decision and I abide by what he wants to do," Ripken said of the move. "It's not controversial. There's no big deal. I've hit all through the lineup all the way through my career. It's not a problem."

Tuesday night, he played his 1,308th consecutive game, which pushed him past Everett Scott into second place on the all-time list. But Ripken also went zero for four, stranded runners three times and heard about it from the fans. So when he came to the plate the first time tonight -- to be greeted with a murmur -- he was 14 for his last 86 at-bats (.163).

"Maybe it will relieve some of the pressure {of being} in the pressure spots in the top of the lineup," Manager Frank Robinson said before the game. "Hopefully, it will get him going."

It may eventually, but not tonight, for Ripken again went zero for four, made the third out each time -- once with the bases loaded.

Orioles starter Dave Johnson got in trouble right quick. After Paul Molitor's line drive went off Craig Worthington's glove, Molitor beat Cal Ripken's throw to first for a leadoff single. With one out, Molitor went to third on Robin Yount's single under Bill Ripken's glove. Dave Parker brought Molitor home for a 1-0 lead with a fly to left field.

The bottom of the Brewers lineup did its part, pushing the lead to 2-0 in the second. With one out, Johnson gave up a single to Greg Brock, hit Greg Vaughn with a pitch and then yielded an RBI double to Billy Spiers. Molitor followed with a walk to load the bases. But, after catching Gary Sheffield's pop, Worthington made a great stop on a Yount smash and forced Molitor at second to end the inning.

Johnson (5-4) beat the Brewers, 5-2, in his last start last Thursday in Milwaukee, but he never had it tonight and was gone by the start of the fourth. But before he departed, Brock hit a two-out, two-run homer into the right field seats for a 4-0 lead after three.

Brewers starter Higuera lasted only two batters, deciding that he could not push off because of the pulled groin he suffered in his last start on June 6, which was also against the Orioles. Phil Bradley had opened the game with a single to left, so he was on first with one when Knudson replaced Higuera. Knudson then got Randy Milligan to bounce into a double play.

Knudson was fine until the fourth, when Bradley blooped a single to right and stole second. Knudson walked Milligan and Tettleton to load the bases with one out. Worthington singled home Bradley, leaving the bases still loaded for Cal Ripken.

This time, the fans greeted him with applause, and on the first pitch he almost proved worthy of it. But his upper-deck blast to left hooked inside the foul pole, missing a grand slam by about 15 seats. He then bounced into a double play to end the inning.

Joe Price replaced Johnson and held the Brewers to one hit and no runs over three innings, but the Orioles could not get him any runs. They had a chance in the sixth, with Milligan at third and one out. But Worthington looked at strike three, then menacingly at home plate umpire Tim Tschida. Then Cal Ripken grounded out.

Jose Bautista replaced Price to start the seventh and he was rocked right away. Parker, with Yount on second, sent a B-B into the right field seats for a 6-1 lead.

Orioles Notes:

Rookie Ben McDonald brought his twice-blistered right middle finger to town today and team physician Hugh Baugher examined it. McDonald was due to pitch tonight for Rochester and is likely to miss his next turn as well.

"We're just going to let it rest for five days and hope it heals," McDonald said before tonight's game. He had just finished some light throwing in the bullpen before the game, with the finger covered with a Band-Aid. He said he hoped to throw hard in six or seven days, and will remain here until Sunday.

"They want to monitor it as I throw and see how it progresses," said McDonald, whose rookie season so far has been short-circuited by injuries. The shortened spring training -- when pitchers' hands get in condition, too -- has been cited as a possible reason for his blisters. He suggested another was that the seams on balls used in college baseball and Class AAA are higher than those used in the majors. "I hold the ball right on the seams when I throw my fastball," he said.

In an odd scene, he and rock-and-roller Joan Jett were each signing and handing autographs over the dugout before the game. . . . Robinson said Jay Tibbs will take his turn in the rotation Saturday against Boston. . . . Brewers Gary Sheffield and Greg Vaughn both wore blue, high-top cleats that would have made Johnny Unitas proud. . . . Robinson, Mike Devereaux and Rene Gonzales will be at the Orioles Baseball Store at Farragut Square Thursday from noon to 2 p.m.. . . Brad Komminsk's RBI single Tuesday night was the first RBI by an Orioles' pinch hitter since Komminsk did it May 4 in Seattle.