Rangers, Weather Reign over Orioles

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BALTIMORE - The Baltimore Orioles continued their parallel struggle against the weather and the Texas Rangers yesterday. After losing the first end of their scheduled doubleheader 3-2, the Orioles saw the scoreless nightcap called after 1 1/3 innings and rain delays of 44 and 120 minutes.

The game will be made up today at 1:35 p.m. The Orioles' David Wells will pitch against the Rangers' Kevin Gross, who started last night's game.

The Orioles have been affected by rain for each of the past four days. During that span, Baltimore has gone through six delays spanning a total of seven hours and 53 minutes.

Home plate umpire Jim McKean broke a finger in the second inning of the first game, and a three-man crew worked the rest of the evening.

After Darren Oliver and Dennis Cook blanked the Orioles 7-0 on Tuesday, Texas starter Bobby Witt took a four-hit shutout into the ninth inning in last night's first game before the Orioles launched a mini-rallly with two outs. Orioles starter Mike Mussina, meanwhile, was the hard-luck recipient of the Orioles' cold bats and dropped to 9-4.

Heading into today's game, the Orioles are 1-8 against the Rangers this season.

"We've been flat against the good clubs in the league," Orioles manager Davey Johnson said. "I don't know why. We've got to get the intensity up."

Like Oliver had the night before, Witt (7-5) handled the Orioles for eight innings and then struck out Roberto Alomar and Rafael Palmeiro to start the ninth. But Bobby Bonilla hit an 0-1 pitch to right field for his sixth home run of the year, and Cal Ripken followed with a double before Texas manager Johnny Oates replaced Witt with Ed Vosberg. …