Orioles wear throwbacks, play like 1979 team

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Scott McGregor has gray hair and is considerably heavier than when he pitched for the Baltimore Orioles many years ago.

For one night, however, McGregor was hurled into a time machine -- along with 47,305 giddy fans at Camden Yards.

"This is 1979 all over again. You're doing it!" McGregor told Orioles manager Dave Trembley after Baltimore rallied from a five-run deficit to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-6 on Friday night.

McGregor, Doug DeCinces and Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver, members of the 1979 AL pennant winners, were hailed before the game, which marked the Pirates' first visit to Baltimore since the teams met in the World Series that season.

Then the current crop of Orioles did more than merely wear the throwback uniforms of that 102-win team. They played like 'em, too.

Luke Scott homered, Melvin Mora had three hits and a key RBI, and Baltimore pitchers retired the last 17 batters to secure the victory before the fourth sellout of the season at Camden Yards.

"We never give up. We fight to the end," Mora said.

The phrase "Orioles Magic" was created in 1979, when Baltimore used a series of comeback wins to charge into first place. The Orioles lost the World Series in seven games, and recently the franchise has suffered through 10 straight losing seasons.

But McGregor likes the enthusiasm this year's team has generated by playing .500 ball and coming from behind in 18 of its 33 wins.

"When's the last time you saw them doing the wave here?" he asked.

Pittsburgh got a three-run homer from Jason Michaels in building a 6-1 lead in the third inning against Brian Burres, and at that juncture it appeared the Pirates would reach .500 at the latest point in a season since they were 67-67 on Sept. 1, 1999.

But Baltimore got a run back on a fourth-inning RBI double by Ramon Hernandez, then closed to 6-5 against starter Phil Dumatrait in the fifth on a run-scoring grounder by Aubrey Huff and a two-run single by Kevin Millar.

"As soon as it was 6-5, we knew we were going to find a way to win it," Trembley said. "Especially here at home and especially in front of this crowd tonight."

Dumatrait was charged with five runs, allowed five hits and walked five.

"He walked too many people. That's a good way to let guys back in the game," Pittsburgh manager John Russell said.

Said Dumatrait: "Obviously I didn't do the job. I had a 6-1 lead and then I came out and walked guys like I did."

The Orioles took the lead in the sixth. Franquelis Osoria (3-2) walked Hernandez and Adam Jones singled before Brian Roberts singled in the tying run. One out later, Mora singled for a 7-6 lead.

Scott homered in the seventh, and Mora doubled and scored on a wild pitch by Marino Salas in the eighth to complete Baltimore's eight-run blitz.

"Coming from the American League, I knew it was going to be a long game and that there would be some runs scored," said Michaels, who started the season with Cleveland. "The way it happened, they did it to us good."

Burres (5-5) gave up six runs and eight hits in six innings but retired the last eight batters.

"He slowed down," Trembley said. "Gosh darn, I think when he gave up hits before he looked like somebody pulled the fire alarm. He was just really rushing."

Jim Johnson got six outs and George Sherrill worked the ninth for his 22nd save.

Outscored 46-27 in the first inning this season, the Orioles reversed the trend by taking a 1-0 lead on a double-play grounder by Huff.

Pittsburgh went up 2-1 in the second when No. 9 hitter Jack Wilson hit a two-out, two-run single on an 0-2 pitch. It became 6-1 in the third when Doug Mientkiewicz hit an RBI single before Michaels lined the next pitch from Burres into the left-field seats.

Game notes
The Orioles have 24 doubles in their last six games and at least one double in the last 20. ... Pittsburgh recalled Salas from Triple-A Indianapolis and optioned RHP Bryan Bullington to the same club. ... Roberts has six multihit games in his last 11. ... Pittsburgh C Ryan Doumit failed to homer for the first time in four games.