05/05/2002 7:13 pm ET
KC glad to be finished with O's
By Becky Dubin Jenkins / MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- It may have taken the Orioles longer to jump on the Royals'
pitching Saturday, but it happened nonetheless. Perhaps the O's were tired
from all the offense they had dropped on Kansas City in the teams' two
series' this season.
Mike Bordick drove in the winning run with a single in the sixth inning off Chris George and the O's dropped the Royals, 3-2, in front of
39,348 on Sunday at Camden Yards.
Baltimore's seventh straight win over Kansas City keeps interim manager John
Mizerock winless, at 0-6, since taking over for Tony Muser on Tuesday.
"I don't want to see the Orioles for the rest of the year," joked Mizerock,
who has watched his team hit .206 since he took over. "And luckily that one
wish has been granted."
Royals starter Chris George (0-3, 4.64 ERA) was the hard-luck loser, giving up
three earned runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.
"I felt pretty good today. But when the team is struggling, it feels like we
can't buy a win," said George, who threw 64 of his 108 pitches for strikes.
"All we can ask is that the starters give the team a chance to win, and we
feel like we've been doing that."
Perhaps George didn't take into account the fact that his team was bumping
heads with the Orioles, who have won eight of their past 10 games.
It was just another day at the office for the Orioles, who outscored the
Royals 55-16 in their season series and have won 14 of their past 16 games
against them. The O's on Saturday got on the board on the second inning off
starter Jeff Suppan and never looked back, using three homers to knock out the
But it wasn't until the sixth inning Sunday that Baltimore made its move.
With the Royals up 2-0, Gary Matthews, Jr. reached first on an infield single
and crossed the plate on Conine's third homer of the season.
"He made a mistake over the plate for the third time in a row," said Conine,
who looked at two change-ups, a slider and two fastballs before hammering
some high heat over the center-field wall. "I finally got the third one. The
kid pitched a good game, but he made that one mistake."
One out later, Marty Cordova singled to center, moved to second on Jay
Gibbons' fielder's choice and scored on Mike Bordick's basehit to
Bordick, who went 3-for-4 with an RBI, was the last batter George faced, as
Mizerock pulled him in favor of Dan Reichert.
"I thought it was good he took me out when he did," said George of
Mizerock's decision. "I was ready to come out."
Reichert had runners on the corners after catcher Brook Fordyce's single to
right-center field, but he induced Jerry Hairston to ground out to end the
inning with no further damage. But the Orioles had taken a 3-2 lead, one
they never relinquished.
Reichert (0-3, 7.01) was scheduled to start Tuesday against Matt Kinney and
the Twins, but Mizerock opted to use him out of the pen instead. Mizerock
said the rotation will be bumped forward a day, meaning Paul Byrd, who
started Friday against Baltimore and who was supposed to start Wednesday,
will go Tuesday at the Metrodome.
Reichert scattered one hit in his 1 1/3 innings of work.
O's starter Calvin Maduro (2-3, 4.72), who retired 12 straight batters at
one point, gave up two runs (one earned) on seven hits
for the win. He struck out five and walked none in his 6 1/3 innings of
Kansas City took a 2-0 lead in the sixth, when Chuck Knoblauch scored on a
passed ball that Fordyce allowed to hit off the top of his glove and roll to
Michael Tucker gave the Royals a 1-0 lead in the first inning by slamming
his second homer of the year over the right-field scoreboard.
Though the Kansas City clubhouse was quiet, it would be a wrong assessment
to say Mizerock and the players are beyond frustration. Mizerock has already
moved on to thinking about the team's two-game series against the Twins that
starts Tuesday. Monday is an off-day.
"Come Tuesday at 2:30 or 3 o'clock, we'll be ready to go again," he said.
"When we get to the Metrodome, we're not going to be worried about this
As for George and his teammates, well, they have already adjusted to their
new manager -- happily.
"If anything, it's easier for me [to pitch for Mizerock]," George said. "I
can be myself around Rock. He has seen me at my best.
"It's easier to pitch for a guy who knows your stuff."
Becky Dubin Jenkins is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was
not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
"I thought it was good he took me out when he did. I was ready to come out."
|- CHRIS GEORGE