Pirates go deep for victory
Daryle Ward and Jack Wilson homered in the eighth to beat Baltimore.
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Baltimore Orioles were still trying to figure out how the Pittsburgh Pirates came back so fast.
Jack Wilson's go-ahead homer followed Daryle Ward's three-run shot in the eighth inning, and the Pirates rallied from a five-run deficit to beat the Orioles 6-5 Tuesday night.
The Orioles were cruising with a 5-0 lead behind rookie Hayden Penn after getting four solo homers in five innings off Dave Williams, but Pittsburgh scored twice in the sixth on reliever John Parrish's run-scoring wild pitch and Ward's RBI double.
"You can't just lay down," said Sal Fasano, who homered twice in Baltimore's first loss in four games. "The Pirates are a pretty decent team and they've been playing well lately. Unfortunately, it happened to us."
In a flash
The comeback came so quickly and so unexpectedly, manager Lee Mazzilli couldn't get reliever Jorge Julio (2-2) out of the game before he turned a 5-2 lead into a 6-5 deficit. Rob Mackowiak singled and Jason Bay walked, and Ward tied it with his 11th homer.
"I made good contact at the right time," said Ward, who drove in four runs. "I'm not saying I was looking to hit a home run, but with him throwing it 98 mph, I'm looking to put good wood on it. And then Jack, he doesn't hit a lot of home runs, but he powered it up, too."
Julio got the next two batters but Wilson, slumping nearly all season and his average in the low .200s, followed with his third homer, hitting Julio's first pitch into the left-field seats.
"He was throwing, he wasn't pitching tonight," Mazzilli said. "His fastball was up, and you can't throw fastballs by fastball hitters in fastball counts. This game's gone on for 100 years, and you just can't do it that way."
Julio, who had held the previous 16 leads handed to him, had no explanation.
"I don't know what happened, but I didn't feel comfortable on the mound tonight," he said.
Reversal of fortunes
The Orioles had been 27-1 when leading after seven innings. The Pirates were 2-21 when trailing after seven.
"They're one of the best teams in baseball and they put five up in a hurry against us," Wilson said. "I just fed off Daryle's homer -- he put us back in it. To come back and win this game, it was huge."
It was a jolt to the Orioles, who squandered not only a big lead, but a four-homer game and an excellent chance for the 20-year-old Penn to get his first career victory in his third start.
Instead, Brian Meadows (2-0) pitched out of a bases-loaded jam he created in the eighth for the victory and Jose Mesa finished for his 17th save in 19 opportunities.
Sammy Sosa and Melvin Mora also homered to help give the Orioles a 5-0 lead that looked safe.
Williams allowed eight homers in 60 innings in his first 10 starts before giving up half that many in 4 1/3 innings. Manager Lloyd McClendon didn't give him a chance to serve up another to Sosa, who, a night after the Pirates intentionally walked Miguel Tejada twice to face him, was intentionally walked by Williams in the fourth.
Three of the Orioles' four solo shots led off an inning, with Fasano connecting to start the third and fifth and Mora doing so in the fourth. The Orioles, second in the majors with 84 homers, matched a team season high set three times previously with four homers.
Tejada, 4-for-6 with four extra-base hits in the series, doubled to start the sixth -- the Orioles' fourth consecutive extra-base hit to start an inning -- and scored on Jay Gibbons' single off Ryan Vogelsong to make it 5-0.