Baltimore at Cincinnati

W: R. Lopez (5-2) L: A. Harang (4-4)
S: B. Ryan (16)
HR: BAL - M. Mora (13)   CIN - F. Lopez (9), K. Griffey (10)

Orioles 4, Reds 3

CBS wire reports

CINCINNATI -- Melvin Mora outshined one of baseball's greatest collections of power hitters.

Mora's three-run homer Friday night sent the Baltimore Orioles to a 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds and stole the spotlight from three of the best home run hitters of all time - Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and Ken Griffey Jr.

"Oh my God," Mora said, contemplating what he'd done. "That's a good feeling when you've got a lot of guys who hit home runs like that. I don't consider myself a home run hitter. I just try to hit it hard somewhere."

The Orioles are visiting Cincinnati for the first time since the 1970 World Series, which third baseman Brooks Robinson turned into his showcase. Baltimore won the series, 4-1.

The focus was on the long ball, not leather, in their return.

The interleague matchup marked the first time that three 500-homer players appeared in the same game -- Sosa (580), Palmeiro (559) and Griffey, who hit a solo shot in the eighth for No. 511.

"To have two other guys on the field who've done it ... they're not just good players, but they're good people as well," Griffey said. "They've done it. You want to try to keep them off the bases, or at least keep them on the bases and not circling them.

"It's weird. It's exciting to be out there with two other guys like that."

The trio went 3-for-11, with Griffey providing the only hit of any note. Sosa, who hit No. 500 at Great American Ball Park two years ago, had a particularly rough time, striking out in his three at-bats.

Instead, Mora made the difference with his 89th career homer, a shot off Aaron Harang (4-4) that put the Orioles ahead to stay in the third. Mora also doubled and scored in the eighth.

Rodrigo Lopez (5-2) rebounded from his shortest outing of the season, a three-inning start against Detroit last Saturday. The right-hander gave up Felipe Lopez's solo homer in the third, and narrowly avoided worse trouble.

Cincinnati failed to score after loading the bases with none out in the fifth. Griffey's bunt single against a shifted infield and Palmeiro's fielding error loaded the bases again in the sixth with one out. Left-hander Steve Kline let in a run with a wild pitch before preserving a 3-2 lead.

"Without question, that was the key to the game," Reds manager Dave Miley said. "With the way Harang was pitching, getting one or two could have been key there. The opportunities were there. We just didn't get it done."

Mora doubled off Kent Mercker in the eighth and came around when left fielder Adam Dunn took the wrong angle on Miguel Tejada's line drive, which fell for a double.

Griffey's 10th homer of the season off John Parrish in the eighth tied Mel Ott for 18th on the career list. B.J. Ryan struck out the side in the ninth for his 16th save in 18 chances.

The Reds were coming off a sweep of the AL's worst road team, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Cincinnati scored 34 runs during the sweep, its highest total for a three-game home series since 1898.

The Orioles were another matter entirely.

Baltimore is the AL's best offensive team on the road, leading the league in hitting and homers while averaging 6.5 runs per game. Mora drove the point home in the third inning with an impressive at-bat.

After Geronimo Gil singled and David Newhan walked, Mora came up with two outs and worked Harang to a full count. He fouled off three pitches with two strikes, then homered to left field on the ninth pitch -- a knee-high fastball -- for a 3-0 lead.

"I thought I threw some good pitches at 1-2 and 2-2," said Harang, who matched his career high with 10 strikeouts in seven innings. "He did a good job. I threw some good sliders and he fought them off."


Before this season, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati were the only teams that the Orioles had not faced in interleague play. ... Baltimore improved to 6-5 on a four-city, 13-game trip that is its longest of the season. ... 2B Brian Roberts (strained right shoulder) was back in the Orioles' lineup for the first time since May 31. ... C/1B Eli Marrero joined the team two days after he was acquired from Kansas City in a trade. He pinch hit and drew a walk. ... LF B.J. Surhoff had his 12-game hitting streak snapped. ... Griffey extended his hitting streak to 13 games. ... INF Anderson Machado (rebuilt left knee) started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville on Friday and left the game with pain in the knee. He'll be examined again.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

M. Mora
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1

M. Tejada
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

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February 24, 2017
2017 AL East Preview: Baltimore Orioles (2:25)
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B5010022 .365
David Newhan, CF4100131 .200
    B.J. Ryan, P0000000 .000
Melvin Mora, 3B4223001 .313
Miguel Tejada, SS4021000 .331
Sammy Sosa, RF3000131 .244
Rafael Palmeiro, 1B4010011 .251
B.J. Surhoff, LF3000111 .311
Geronimo Gil, C4110013 .191
Rodrigo Lopez, P2000011 .000
    Steve Kline, P0000000 .000
   a- Eli Marrero, PH0000100 .159
    Todd Williams, P0000000 .000
    John Parrish, P0000000 .000
    Jorge Julio, P0000000 .000
   b- Ramon Nivar, PH-CF1000010 .333
a-walked for Kline in the 7th
b-struck out for Julio in the 9th
2B - Melvin Mora (14, Mercker), Miguel Tejada (21, Mercker)
3B - Miguel Tejada (3, Harang)
HR - Melvin Mora (13, Harang)
RBI - Melvin Mora 3 (42), Miguel Tejada (51)
2-OUT RBI - Melvin Mora 3 (22)
Team LOB - 7
E - Rafael Palmeiro (4, misplayed grounder)
Baltimore Orioles
Rodrigo Lopez (W,5-2) 5.1522111 4.52
Steve Kline (H,5) 0.2000000 4.98
Todd Williams (H,5) 1.1000010 4.50
John Parrish (H,1) 0.1111001 1.65
Jorge Julio (H,8) 0.1000010 3.06
B.J. Ryan (S,16) 1000030 1.99
WP - Steve Kline (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Rodrigo Lopez 74-47, Steve Kline 8-5, Todd Williams 13-9, John Parrish 7-4, Jorge Julio 6-4, B.J. Ryan 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rodrigo Lopez 11-5, Steve Kline 1-1, Todd Williams 3-0
Batters Faced - Rodrigo Lopez 23, Steve Kline 2, Todd Williams 4, John Parrish 2, Jorge Julio 1, B.J. Ryan 3
Cincinnati Reds
Ryan Freel, 2B4000003 .306
Joe Randa, 3B4000000 .294
Sean Casey, 1B4110000 .321
Ken Griffey Jr., CF4121000 .276
Wily Mo Pena, RF4010010 .318
Adam Dunn, LF3000112 .237
Felipe Lopez, SS4121012 .304
Jason LaRue, C4000023 .238
Aaron Harang, P2000013 .032
   a- Jacob Cruz, PH1000000 .295
    Kent Mercker, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Wagner, P0000000 .000
a-grounded out for Harang in the 7th
2B - Wily Mo Pena (9, Lopez)
HR - Ken Griffey Jr. (10, Parrish), Felipe Lopez (9, Lopez)
RBI - Ken Griffey Jr. (41), Felipe Lopez (28)
2-OUT RBI - Ken Griffey Jr. (18)
Team LOB - 5
Cincinnati Reds
Aaron Harang (L,4-4) 75332101 3.52
Kent Mercker 1211220 2.39
Ryan Wagner 1000010 5.18
IBB - Sosa by Kent Mercker
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Harang 126-90, Kent Mercker 29-14, Ryan Wagner 10-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Harang 6-5, Ryan Wagner 1-1
Batters Faced - Aaron Harang 28, Kent Mercker 7, Ryan Wagner 3
Game Information
Attendance - 24276
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - C.B. Bucknor, First Base - Phil Cuzzi, Second Base - Ed Rapuano, Third Base - Jerry Crawford