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Marlins Overcome Umpire, Orioles

September 03, 1997|From Associated Press

MIAMI — The Florida Marlins overcame a bad call and Mike Mussina to beat the slumping Baltimore Orioles for the second consecutive night.

Edgar Renteria singled home the winning run with two outs in the 10th inning Tuesday and the Marlins won their fifth game in a row, 3-2.

The Orioles have lost four in a row for the first time since they ended a six-game losing streak, their longest of the season, on July 13.

"I'm proud of this club still," said Oriole Manager Davey Johnson, whose team has baseball's best record. "We're battling. Sometimes you just go through these kinds of spells."

Baltimore failed to win despite a break in the first inning when first-base umpire Bruce Froemming mistakenly awarded Rafael Palmeiro a two-run homer. Palmeiro's drive actually hit halfway up the right-field wall just inside the foul line.

In a matchup between two of baseball's best pitchers, Mussina and Kevin Brown dueled to a 2-2 tie through 7 1/2 innings.

Mussina took a four-hit shutout into the seventh, but Moises Alou tied it with a two-run homer after Bobby Bonilla led off with a bunt single.

The Marlins continued to enjoy success against baseball's best teams. They went 8-4 against NL East leader Atlanta.

"We're trying to send a message to the whole league," right fielder Gary Sheffield said. "We beat the Braves like we did all year, and now we beat the Orioles two games. The two best records in baseball--if you can beat these guys, it says something about our team."

Florida improved to 82-55, ensuring the first winning season in the five-year history of the franchise. The Marlins remained 3 1/2 games behind Atlanta.

Charles Johnson opened the 10th with a single against former Marlin Terry Mathews (3-4) and pinch-runner Gregg Zaun advanced on a sacrifice. Jeff Conine walked, and after both runners moved up on a groundout, Renteria singled to center on Mathews' first pitch.

Ed Vosberg (1-0) retired two batters with the bases loaded in the 10th.

Baltimore's only runs scored as a result of Froemming's disputed decision.

With a runner at first, Palmeiro pulled a liner down the right-field line that hit several feet below the top of the wall, then bounced onto the field. Froemming, apparently thinking the ball hit the foul pole, immediately signaled a home run, and the ruling stood despite lengthy protests by the Marlins.

"My view is the same view as that of the umpire: It was hard to see," Palmeiro said. "I'm kind of glad the game didn't come down to that. Kevin wouldn't have deserved losing a game that way, because he pitched great."



WHO: Florida Marlins

WHERE: Dodger Stadium

WHEN: Friday: 7 p.m.; Saturday: 1 p.m.; Sunday: 1 p.m.

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