It took one day for Dave Johnson to regain his lead in Baltimore Orioles victories.
On the night after Pete Harnisch tied his club-high 11, Johnson went six more respectable innings and rode Mike Devereaux's three-run homer and some relief help to a 3-2 decision over Milwaukee last night.
Johnson again enhanced his chance to go to 1991 spring training with a spot in the rotation in a third straight commendable start since he returned from back trouble.
The Orioles couldn't clinch their fourth straight victory until after manager Frank Robinson had been ejected in the top half of the eighth by plate umpire Steve Palmero after an argument of unknown origin.
Palmero said he did not want to discuss the cause of the banishment.
The Orioles loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but couldn't convert the threat into any insurance, leaving Kevin Hickey to finish the job and hand the Brewers their fifth straight loss.
The Orioles were seeking to climb into fifth place.
A win would also assure them of consecutive series victories against the East Division for the first time since June 4-10 when they beat Milwaukee and New York in succession.
Their chances did not appear promising when they failed to capitalize on threats in the first two innings against Kevin Brown, a lanky left-hander making his first major-league start.
In the first, Bill Ripken doubled and reached third when Greg Vaughn misplayed the ball in the left-field corner to give the Orioles a man at third with one out. Two ground outs followed.
In the second, another Brewers error started a threat, Chris Hoiles reaching on a two-base overthrow by Jim Gantner to start the inning. Hoiles went to third when David Segui was safe on an infield single off Brown's hand.
But Hoiles was retired at the plate while trying to score on Bob Melvin's bouncer to first, Devereaux flied deep to center and Brady Anderson grounded out.
Two innings later, the Orioles jumped in front, 3-1, on a three-run homer by Devereaux, a line drive down the line that hit the left-field foul pole.
Devereaux had produced only one RBI since Sept. 2 and was 3-for-26 entering that at-bat.
The Brewers, losers of seven of their previous eight, scored in the top of the fourth with the help of a double by Greg Brock that ricocheted off Steve Finley's glove in right.
That followed a leadoff walk to Dave Parker and preceded a run-scoring ground ball by rookie Darryl Hamilton.
Milwaukee had B.J. Surhoff on via a one-out single in the first, but Surhoff was thrown out by Hoiles at second, marking the first time any runner had attempted to steal this season with Johnson on the mound.
Opposing base-stealers are 0-for-8 while Johnson has pitched during his Orioles career.
Johnson, who left in the seventh inning, weathered a two-on, one-out threat in the second, and a one-out double by Mike Felder in the fifth.
Dan Boone made his first appearance at Memorial Stadium, as Johnson's relief man, arriving with two on and none out.
Felder, the first batter he faced, hit a routine ground ball to Segui at first, leading to an unusual play. Segui touched the bag to retire Felder, but he had failed to tag runner Bill Spiers, who was dancing around trying to figure out which way to go.
Spiers then advanced on a wild pitch, putting runners at second and third, and Gantner, who had started it all with a ground-rule double, then scored on Surhoff's grounder.
Boone ended the inning by getting Paul Molitor on a fly to center, leaving the Orioles ahead, 3-2.
That left Johnson in position to win his first game since Aug. 2, although he had pitched well since returning from the disabled list earlier this month.
In this one, he avoided the home-run ball, one of his pitching problems. He entered the game with 28 homers allowed, high in the majors. Nearly half the runs against him (38 of 77) had scored as a direct result of homers.