Series: Game 3 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 9/30)

Game 1: Friday, September 28
Baltimore 0Final
New York 7
Game 2: Saturday, September 29
Baltimore 7Final
New York 2
Game 3: Sunday, September 30
Baltimore 1Delayed
New York 1

Orioles 1

(63-97, 33-47 away)

Yankees 1

(95-64, 51-27 home)

1:05 PM ET, September 30, 2001

Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York 

BAL - -
NYY - -

Cal hitless in final road game of career

NEW YORK (AP) -- Cal Ripken Jr.'s final road game was a contest only an Iron Man could truly appreciate.

Cal Ripken Jr., throws out the honorary first pitch as Roger Clemens looks on during ceremonies honoring Ripken before his final game in Yankee Stadium.

The Orioles and Yankees combined to shuttle in nine bench players and 11 relievers through 15 innings that stretched for 5 hours, 1 minute under slate skies and steady showers Sunday.

At the end, when the game was called because of rain with the teams tied at 1, Ripken was still on the field, manning third base, disappointed that his final appearance at Yankee Stadium -- his final appearance anywhere in Baltimore's gray away uniform -- was his poorest showing, statistically, of his 21 years in the majors.

Ripken, who announced in June that he would retire at season's end, went 0-for-7 for the first time ever, with four strikeouts.

"I feel a certain relief that it's over and a certain regret that I wasn't able to perform the way I'd like to in my last series in Yankee Stadium," he said. "But I still enjoyed the experience and I'll still cherish it."

Just after the 15th inning ended with Gerald Williams striking out swinging as his bat slipped from his hands and flew into the Orioles' dugout -- hitting pitching coach Mark Wiley -- the tarp was put on the field. The game was called a half-hour later.

Only about 5,000 spectators out of an announced crowd of 55,351 were still around by the 15th.

"It was an eerie sort of game: the weather, the gray skies, the wind, the rain. Pitching seemed to dominate today but it was still enjoyable," Ripken said. "I'll look back and know I still had a lot of fun competing. I certainly would have liked to have been 10-for-14 or something."

The teams combined for just 13 hits and 32 strikeouts, and left a total of 26 runners on base.

Ripken was the center of attention throughout what turned into a long day, from a pregame ceremony in his honor at 12:40 p.m., to the final out at 6:15 p.m.

Flashbulbs popped and fans stood to cheer each time Ripken came to the plate. Alas, he dropped to 0-for-14 in the three-game series, increasing his hitless slide to a season-worst five games.

The closest he came to a hit was on the first pitch he saw, in the second inning, from Yankees starter Roger Clemens. Ripken drove the ball to deep center, but Bernie Williams tracked it down for an over-the-shoulder catch.

"The funny thing was, Bernie makes that catch and when he comes back to the bench, he says, 'He didn't mention me in his pregame speech.' That was hilarious," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

Spectators chanted "Let's go, Cal!" just before reliever Mike Stanton struck out Ripken swinging in the ninth.

Leading off the eighth against Ramiro Mendoza, Ripken swung at the first pitch and hit a high popup that Derek Jeter -- one of today's star shortstops inspired by Ripken -- caught in foul territory. The fans applauded as Ripken went back to the dugout, and they kept cheering until he climbed to the top step and waved.

Many fans departed after Ripken struck out swinging against Clemens in the fourth inning.

They had already braved bad weather to watch the player they came to see -- the owner of more than 3,000 hits, more than 400 home runs and, of course, the man who broke Yankees great Lou Gehrig's record of playing in 2,130 consecutive games.

Those gone by the seventh missed a nifty defensive play by the Orioles' shortstop-turned-third-baseman. Ripken bent down to snare a liner at his shoe-top hit by Bernie Williams leading off that inning. Ripken snapped up his glove after the catch.

Bernie Williams homered in the Yankees' fourth. Baltimore tied it 1 when Chris Richard homered in the sixth.

Clemens later struck out Ripken, who spoke during a pregame ceremony near the spot where Gehrig, dying from a neurological disorder that would become known by his name, said goodbye to New York fans in a moving speech on July 4, 1939. Gehrig told the stadium, "I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth."

Ripken originally was scheduled to play his final series of the season -- and of his career -- at Yankee Stadium on Sunday. That changed when the schedule was stretched a week to make up the games postponed by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Ripken instead will finish at home next Saturday.

"It was very exciting, very emotional, overwhelming. I was very much touched by all the gestures, getting caught up in Yankee Stadium. It's the baseball stage for me," he said. "I probably swung a lot harder than I should have swung. I was overaggressive. But I enjoyed competing.

"Would you believe I tried to do that so we could play a long, last game? It's fun to go out there and play."

Game notes
Torre raised the possibility that his team might have to replay Sunday's game and a Sept. 10 rainout against Boston if the outcomes would affect New York's playoff standing. He said the two games might be played in New York on Oct. 8. ... The only other time Ripken had four strikeouts in a game was May 2, 1984, against the Cleveland Indians. ... Ripken is tied with Paul Molitor for the most hits by an opponent (136) in the 26-year history of remodeled Yankee Stadium.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press