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Conine ties his career high with 5 RBI

5/29/2002

BALTIMORE (AP) -- The pitchers didn't have a chance on a clear, hot night at Camden Yards.

Jeff Conine hit two homers and drove in five runs as the
Baltimore Orioles ended the Oakland Athletics' four-game winning
streak with a 10-5 comeback victory Wednesday night.

The game featured seven home runs, six coming in two
half-innings. Scott Hatteberg, Miguel Tejada and Eric Chavez
connected in the Oakland third before Conine, Tony Batista and
Marty Cordova answered in the bottom of the fourth.

With four homers among their 15 hits, the Orioles' offense was as sizzling as the game-time temperature: 89 degrees.

``When you get the warm weather coming in, the ball's going to travel a little better,'' Conine said. ``We've had a pretty cold two months here. Tonight was nice and warm, there was no wind, so the ball's going to travel if you hit it well.''

Conine's second homer capped a five-run sixth that gave the
Orioles a 10-5 lead. After Baltimore loaded the bases with no outs
against Mike Fyhrie (2-4), submariner Chad Bradford retired Melvin Mora before .130 hitter Brian Roberts chipped an opposite-field RBI single to left.

Chris Singleton followed with a sacrifice fly before Conine hit the first pitch he saw from Bradford deep into the seats in left.

``When we were in Oakland, he jammed me with a fastball,'' Conine said. ``I was checking out his release point in the on-deck circle and was looking fastball all the way.''

It was the 18th two-homer game for Conine, whose five RBI tied a career high.

Rick Bauer (2-2) pitched two innings of scoreless relief for Baltimore, which salvaged a split of the two-game series after falling behind 4-0 in the third inning.

``We swung the bats well. We should win games like this,'' Chavez said.

It was the fifth consecutive multiple-homer game for the A's, who have hit 13 home runs in that span. But on this night, Baltimore did Oakland one better, leaving the A's 1-13 when being outhomered by their opponent.

``The offense came out swinging tonight, but we couldn't keep them in the ballpark,'' Oakland manager Art Howe said. ``It happened so quickly. They had two big innings and they were both huge. They broke it wide open.''

Oakland used the long ball to go up 4-0 against Sidney Ponson in
the third. After Hatteberg and Tejada hit successive homers,
Jermaine Dye drew a four-pitch walk and Chavez hit his 13th home
run, the second in two nights.

``We could have hung our heads and given up a little bit, but we came right back with a vengeance,'' Conine said.

Baltimore answered with a five-run fourth, getting seven
straight hits before Oakland recorded an out. Conine started the
fireworks with a two-run shot and Batista followed with his 12th
homer, on an 0-2 pitch. Jay Gibbons then doubled and Cordova chased
starter Erik Hiljus with a drive into the right-field seats.

``I can't pinpoint anything right now. Frustration is the only thing I feel right now,'' Hiljus said. ``Consistency is just killing me right now. There's no reason at all I should go out there, put up three scoreless innings, then fall apart.''

Ponson immediately surrendered the lead in the fifth, issuing a walk and a single before Dye hit into a run-scoring double play.

``There's no reason to look at the tapes of this one. I have no clue what happened,'' Ponson said. ``I never make excuses; I just pitch really bad today.''

Game notes
Oakland CF Terrence Long robbed Batista of a second homer
with a leaping catch at the wall in the eighth. ... Baltimore's
Geronimo Gil ended an 0-for-16 skid with a fourth-inning single.
... Chavez has 12 homers against Baltimore, the most against any
team. ... Dye's eight-game hitting streak ended. ... It was
Conine's team-high 14th multi-hit game.