BALTIMORE, JULY 16 -- Phil Bradley, Cal Ripken and the Baltimore Orioles continued to march onward tonight.
With President Bush and some of the first family in attendance, Bradley continued his remarkable comeback from wrist surgery with a home run and four runs batted in, Ripken set another fielding record and the Orioles defeated the Texas Rangers, 7-6, at Memorial Stadium when Brad Arnsberg walked Mickey Tettleton with the bases loaded and none out in the ninth.
Bradley, who hit a three-run homer in the fifth, set up the Orioles' sixth victory in eight games by singling home the tying run in the ninth and advancing to second on an ill-advised throw to the plate.
Ripken cleanly handled four chances to break the major league record for consecutive chances without an error by a shortstop. The mark belonged to John "Buddy" Kerr, who went 383 chances without an error for the New York Giants in 1946-47. Ripken has 385 in a streak that spans 85 games -- three shy of the record for consecutive errorless games by a shortstop, set by the New York Mets' Kevin Elster in 1987-88.
The only bad news was the Orioles bullpen's inability to give Jeff Ballard his second victory of the season. Ballard, making his first start since June 28, departed after the Orioles went ahead, 5-2, on Bradley's homer. But Curt Schilling allowed three runs in the sixth, Ben McDonald one in the eighth.
However, with Kenny Rogers (3-5) pitching in relief of starter Charlie Hough, Mike Devereaux began the ninth with a single to center just beyond the reach of shortstop Jeff Huson, who entered in the seventh inning.
Brad Komminsk pinch-hit for Steve Finley and walked on a 3-2 pitch. Texas Manager Bobby Valentine summoned Arnsberg.
Bradley squared to bunt the first pitch, and Arnsberg sent him spinning down and out of the batter's box with a high, inside fastball. Bradley fouled off two bunt attempts. He then grounded a single to right.
Right fielder Ruben Sierra threw home as Komminsk went to third. Devereaux scored easily and Bradley advanced to second.
Arnsberg intentionally walked Randy Milligan, loading the bases for Tettleton, who walked on a 3-2 pitch.
"That would have been a tough game for us to lose," Orioles Manager Frank Robinson said.
Ballard left after pitching five innings -- the minimum required for a starter to earn a victory.
He allowed four hits and no walks and said he had "another inning or two left," but Robinson didn't want to take any chances.
"He hadn't been out there in a while, he had pitched well and I wanted to let him come away with something positive," Robinson said.
It was not to be -- at least not in terms of his record, which remained 1-9.
Schilling failed to get out of the sixth, as the Rangers got four consecutive hits with two out. They tied the score when a liner by Jack Daugherty baffled Finley in right field and fell for a two-run double.
After Joe Price finished the sixth, Robinson handed the game to McDonald, who retired the first four batters he faced. But Palmeiro grounded a single to right and advanced on Sierra's slow chopper to first. That brought up Pete Incaviglia. Last September at Arlington Stadium, he crushed one of McDonald's fastballs for a monstrous homer to center field.
This time, with the count 1-2, McDonald threw a curveball. Incaviglia stayed with it, and whacked it down the left field line, where it landed just fair for a double. Palmeiro scored easily.
Hough was perfect for 2 2/3 innings after a base running blunder by Milligan resulted in a double play that cut short what had been a three-run fifth.
With the score tied at 2, Hough began the fifth by walking Devereaux. With the count 1-1 to Finley, Robinson called for the hit-and-run. Starting shortstop Gary Green broke to cover second, and Finley hit a grounder to almost the exact spot where Green had been. Devereaux cruised into third.
Bradley hit Hough's next pitch over the left field fence. Baltimore led, 5-2, and Bradley had his second homer and eighth RBI in five games since returning from arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left wrist.
"I'm still just trying to have good at-bats," said Bradley, who is six for 20 with nine RBI in five games since returning on Friday. "If I get the chance to hit with runners in scoring position, that's fine with me."
Milligan and Tettleton followed with walks. Ripken struck out and Sam Horn hit a liner to center. As Gary Pettis moved in to make the catch, Milligan tagged up. He bluffed a break for third, but went too far from second. Pettis threw behind him, and Green applied the tag for an inning-ending double play.
Pettis "made a good play and I messed up," Milligan said.
The last time Hough pitched at Memorial Stadium, May 19, the Orioles managed one hit during the first six innings and only four in his eight innings. But the next time they faced him, July 4 in Texas, they battered him for six runs on seven hits and six walks.
It was more of the latter tonight. In the first two innings, the Orioles piled up five hits and had a batter reach on an error. But they scored only once in each inning, one of the runs coming on a double play grounder with the bases loaded.
The Rangers struck quickly in the fourth. Julio Franco singled and Palmeiro drove a 1-1 pitch into the right field bleachers to give him 13 RBI in his last 13 games. It was the 17th homer Ballard has allowed in 96 1/3 innings this season -- one more than the number he allowed in 215 1/3 innings last season.