Orioles 7-4, Blue Jays 6-0
Rafael Palmeiro knew his Baltimore Orioles' single-season RBI record would one day fall. When it did, he was just happy to be around.
Palmeiro hit two home runs in the Orioles' doubleheader opener, a 7-6 win against the Toronto Blue Jays, but seemed more excited about Miguel Tejada's run-scoring single in the fifth, his 143rd RBI of the season, which broke Palmeiro's team mark set in 1996.
"I didn't realize how many RBI it was until I saw him do it," Palmeiro said. "He's the heartbeat of this club."
In the second game, Rick Bauer, who had not started a major league game since Aug. 24, 2002, pitched six scoreless innings in Baltimore's 4-0 win, allowing just three hits while striking out a career-high seven for his first career win as a starter. Entering Wednesday, Bauer had lost all six starts. The Orioles have swept three of the six doubleheaders they've played in this year.
David Newhan's ninth-inning single with two outs and the bases loaded gave the Orioles the win in Game 1, which was a makeup game for Tuesday's rainout. Toronto had tied the game at 6 with a home run in the eighth inning by Russ Adams. The Orioles had built a 6-3 lead with Palmeiro's two home runs, putting his season total at 23. Palmeiro, who had 14 home runs at the all-star break, has hit nine home runs in September.
"It's a guy that gets in a groove real quick," Baltimore Manager Lee Mazzilli said. "He knows how to hit."
Palmeiro, who admitted to being distracted by a shift many teams employed against him that placed three infielders on the right side of the field and one near the second base bag, said he has stopped trying to hit the ball the other way and instead has returned to the approach that has put him in the top 10 on the all-time home run list.
"I finally made the adjustments I needed to make and it's working," Palmeiro said. "It's a lesson learned. I'll take it into next year from Day One."
Bauer was outstanding in Game 2, allowing just one base runner to reach second base. Jay Gibbons's double in the fifth inning provided the first Orioles run. B.J. Surhoff's pinch single in the eighth provided an insurance run. Surhoff scored the third run on a triple by Newhan, who scored on a sacrifice fly by Melvin Mora. B.J. Ryan, the winning pitcher in Game 1, pitched a scoreless ninth.