Boston 5, Baltimore 1

Oct. 6, 2001 at 11:24 PM   |   Comments

BALTIMORE, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Cal Ripken Jr., arguably the greatest player in Baltimore Orioles' history and certainly one of the game's most popular figures, ended his career Saturday night in what turned out to be a 5-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox.

Ripken, who many credit with reviving the national pastime, went hitless in three at bats in his 3,001st and final game.

Baseball's Iron Man, Ripken captivated the nation in September 1995 with his assault on the consecutive games played streak held by legendary New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig. Ripken broke Gehrig's record on Sept. 5, 1995 and eventually ran his streak to 2,632 games.

Honored before and after the game, Ripken failed to deliver in his final game the way he did on that September night in 1995 or in this year's All-Star Game, when he homered en route to Most Valuable Player honors.

Ripken lined out to left field in the second, popped out to shortstop in the fifth and skied to center in the eighth. He was in the on-deck circle when Brady Anderson struck out to end the game.

While Ripken's career came to an end, Boston's David Cone capped a remarkable turnaround with one of his best outings of the season. The 38-year-old, who was a 4-14 with a 6.91 ERA last season with the Yankees, allowed an unearned run and three hits over eight innings.

After signing with Boston as a free agent in the offseason, Cone was injured coming out of spring training and did not join the team until mid-May. He did not win until June 8, but he ran off seven straight victories and was Boston's best pitcher when ace Pedro Martinez began experiencing shoulder problems.

Cone (9-7) did not finish well, dropping five straight decisions before Saturday, but he looked as strong as ever against the Orioles.

Ugueth Urbina followed Cone with a scoreless inning as the Red Sox concluded the season at 82-79 -- a three-game dropoff from 2000. The damage to the franchise was worst than that as manager Jimy Williams was fired, players revolted and management came under fire for questionable moves. All of this occurred while the future of the team's ownership remains muddled.

Baltimore finished 64-98, 10 games worse than last year, but manager Mike Hargrove kept his team competitive despite disappointing performances by a couple of key veterans.

© 2001 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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