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Orioles 10, Yankees 3 (AP) ... pregame ceremony was reserved for former Orioles manager Johnny Oates, undergoing treatment for brain tumor.... - Apr 01 6:44 PM ET


Al Musella's Comments: (This is his personal views and are not necessarily the views of the Musella Foundation!)



Website: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020401/ap_on_sp_ba_ga_su/bba_yankees_orioles_1

Posted on: 04/02/2002

Mon Apr 1, 6:44 PM ET

By JOSEPH WHITE, AP Sports Writer

BALTIMORE (AP) - If the Baltimore Orioles had played like this the past few years, Cal Ripken might have stuck around this season.

Photos

AP Photo
With the retired Ripken watching from a luxury suite, Tony Batista jolted Roger Clemens with a grand slam and Scott Erickson won his first outing in 20 months as the Orioles opened Monday with a 10-3 victory over the New York Yankees.

Clemens, coming off his record sixth Cy Young Award, gave up eight runs, walked five and threw two wild pitches — all after he tried to field a hard grounder with his bare hand. Clemens was taken to a hospital for precautionary X-rays.

Jason Giambi, the centerpiece in the transformation of the four-time defending AL champions, went 1-for-4 with a walk as the Yankees started their 100th season.

Giambi, who left Oakland as a free agent to sign a $120 million, seven-year deal, grounded out with the bases loaded to end the fifth with the Yankees trailing 5-1.

A crowd of 48,058, the largest ever for opening day at Camden Yards, cheered the Orioles — along with another Maryland team.

At night, Maryland played Indiana for the NCAA (news - web sites) men's basketball championship. One of the biggest cheers came when Terrapins coach Gary Williams was shown on the scoreboard, wishing the Orioles luck in a taped message. Also, a fan ran along the concourse with a large Maryland flag.

Ripken, who played 21 seasons for the Orioles, also drew an ovation when he was shown on the scoreboard late in the game.

The longest cheer during the pregame ceremony was reserved for former Orioles manager Johnny Oates, undergoing treatment for brain tumor.

Oates threw out the ceremonial first pitch as the crowd, the Orioles and the Yankees cheered. Oates stood a few feet in front of the mound and delivered his pitch about a foot wide to bullpen coach Elrod Hendricks.

"My main thought was don't cry," Oates said.

Erickson (1-0), who sat out last season after elbow ligament replacement surgery, allowed three hits in six innings. He walked three of the first four batters he faced, leading to an unearned run in the first.

But Erickson settled down, escaped his only other jam in the fifth and earned his first victory since July 20, 2000.

Clemens (0-1) dropped to 5-3 in 12 opening day starts. He pitched 4 1-3 innings and allowed seven hits.

Clemens was cruising until he tried to field David Segui's ground ball with one out in the fourth inning. Clemens deflected the ball, then snatched his hand away and leaned forward with both hands on his knees as Segui beat out the infield hit.

The Rocket threw a couple of warmups before resuming, but his control was gone. He walked Jeff Conine and Jay Gibbons before Batista, swinging at the first pitch, sent a drive a few feet beyond the 410-foot mark in left-center field for his fifth career slam.

Clemens then walked Melvin Mora, who stole second and scored on Geronimo Gil's RBI single. The Orioles sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning to take a 5-1 lead.

Manager Joe Torre left Clemens in the game for the fifth inning, but he lasted just five batters. Conine walked, Gibbons singled and Batista walked to load the bases, then Mora cleared them and ended Clemens' day with a three-run double.

The Yankees got two runs in the eighth on Derek Jeter's homer off reliever Rodrigo Lopez.

Notes:@ Batista's grand slam was the second on opening day in Orioles' history. Eddie Murray hit one against Kansas City on April 5, 1982, at Memorial Stadium. ... Clemens last allowed a slam on June 9, 2000, to Mike Piazza. ... It was the Yankees' 100th opening day. They are 57-42-1 to start the season. The tie came against Boston in 1910, when the game was called because of darkness with the score tied 4-4. ... Clemens needs 20 wins to reach 300 in his career.




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