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Ripken's hit parade helps O's blast Braves

Orioles 22, Braves 1

Forget that talk about Cal Ripken's career being over.He's just getting better -- certainly better than he was at the start of the season.

Ripken had a career-high six hits, homered twice and drove in six runs as the Baltimore Orioles set a franchise record for runs Sunday night in a 22-1 rout of the Atlanta Braves.

"It's kind of nice at 38 to have a first in your career," Ripken said. "Everything has to go right."

Early in the year, when he was bothered by a bad back, some said it was time for the 16-time All-Star to start considering retirement. When he went on the DL, he was hitting just .179 (5-for-28).

With his 6-for-6 performance, Ripken raised his average 30 points to .328. Since coming off the disabled list in mid-May, he's hitting .367 (40-for-109).

"I had a good swing and the ball fell. It's the kind of night you hope to duplicate, but you probably won't,' Ripken said.

At Turner Field, Mike Mussina (8-3) had two hits and three RBIs. The Orioles broke the previous franchise record set when the St. Louis Browns scored 20 runs against Detroit on Aug. 18, 1951.

METS 5, RED SOX 4: At New York, Benny Agbayani hit his 10th homer in 73 at-bats and New York held on to win for the sixth time in seven games.

Brian McRae also homered for the Mets, and Mike Piazza extended his hitting streak to 17 games, helping Orel Hershiser (6-5) earn his 196th career victory.

INDIANS 7, REDS 3: At Cincinnati, Manny Ramirez hit his second homer of the series and Dave Burba beat his former team again as Cleveland completed a three-game sweep. It was the first sweep in three series between the intrastate rivals.

EXPOS 4, DEVIL RAYS 0: At Montreal, Carl Pavano (5-5) pitched a three-hitter for his first career complete game and Vladimir Guerrero went 3-for-4 as the Expos handed Tampa Bay its eighth loss in nine games. The Expos won for the fifth time in six games.

BLUE JAYS 7, PHILLIES 2: At Philadelphia, Carlos Delgado homered and drove in three runs and Tony Fernandez raised his major league-leading average to .401 as Toronto snapped a five-game losing streak.

Pat Hentgen (5-5) won for the first time since May 18, and the Blue Jays hit Curt Schilling hard in the first three innings and knocked him out during a four-run eighth.

PIRATES 8, ROYALS 4: At Pittsburgh, Keith Osik's pinch-hit, two-run triple highlighted a five-run rally in the seventh inning.

Light-hitting shortstop Mike Benjamin drove in three runs and hit his first homer of the season.

TIGERS 3, CARDINALS 1 (10): At St. Louis, pinch-hitter Frank Catalanotto hit a two-run homer off Ricky Bottalico in the 10th.

Justin Thompson, who missed his previous start because of back spasms, pitched 7 2/3 shutout innings and had a career-high eight strikeouts.

ROCKIES 4, RANGERS 2: At Arlington, Texas, Kurt Abbott hit a three-run homer and Bobby Jones pitched 6 1-3 effective innings for Colorado.

Abbott keyed a four-run third inning to back Jones (2-5), who gave up consecutive homers to Juan Gonzalez and Rafael Palmeiro in the fourth.

ATHLETICS 9, DODGERS 3: At Oakland, Ben Grieve hit a pair of run-scoring doubles as the Athletics finished a three-game sweep.

Rookie Tim Hudson (1-0) allowed two runs and seven hits through seven innings.

MARLINS 8, YANKEES 2: At Miami, rookie Bruce Aven hit two homers and drove in four runs to help Alex Fernandez earn his first victory since opening day.

GIANTS 8, MARINERS 4: At Seattle, J.T. Snow hit a go-ahead, two-run single in a five-run eighth inning for San Francisco.

WHITE SOX 6, CUBS 4: At Chicago, Mike Caruso hit his first homer of the season and Ray Durham had four hits for the second straight day as the White Sox swept their crosstown rivals.

DIAMONDBACKS 3, ANGELS 1: At Anaheim, Tony Womack's double off Mark Petkovsek (5-2) broke a 1-1 tie in the 13th. Vladimir Nunez (1-0) pitched two innings, and Gregg Olsen pitched a perfect 13th for his ninth save.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

PADRES AT ASTROS (SUSPENDED): The only National League game was suspended in the eighth inning after Astros manager Larry Dierker had a seizure in the dugout. The game, which Houston was leading 4-1, will be resumed July 23. See story on Page D1.