Milacki stars, Boone slips as Orioles, Indians split Cleveland wins, 7-3, after 6-3 loss in first

October 01, 1990|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Staff Correspondent

CLEVELAND -- For Baltimore Orioles left-hander Dan Boone just being there was memorable, but the result of his first major-league start wasn't.

He struggled with the mound and his control and left afte manager Frank Robinson had endured 4 2/3 shaky innings of the second game of a doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians.

Although Boone did not take the loss, the Indians went on to win 7-3, to prevent a four-game series sweep. The Orioles took the opener, 6-3, behind Bob Milacki.

Robinson showed patience with the 36-year-old knuckleballer i an effort to let him go the five innings necessary to qualify for a victory. But after Brook Jacoby singled for the Indians' eighth hit off Boone, the string broke.

"Frank gave me every opportunity," said Boone, who has not won a major-league game since May 19, 1982. "I was hoping to get through the inning with a lead, but I just couldn't get the third out."

Robinson said: "It's the time of year when you can go a littl longer with somebody than you normally would in that situation. I thought he was just a little timid. He was behind a lot of hitters, and getting ahead of them is one of his strengths."

The Indians wrapped up the game in the sixth inning with thre runs off Dorn Taylor and John Mitchell on a rally triggered by Tim Hulett's error.

After falling behind, 6-3, the Orioles had only one threat, loadin the bases in the eighth against Steve Olin, but Doug Jones came on to get Mike Devereaux on a fly ball, then pitched a perfect ninth for his 42nd save.

Despite the second-game defeat, the Orioles won their firs series in an opposing American League East park since June 4-7 in Milwaukee and completed their final road trip with a 4-3 record.

"I struggled. The mound was very difficult to pitch off of. It wa flat," said Boone, who was discovered by the Orioles in the Senior Professional Baseball Association. "I battled myself the whole way.

"I'm disappointed I didn't go longer. I guess I was worried abou you guys [media] writing about Daniel Boone getting scalped by the Indians."

Boone said the Indians handled his knuckler surprisingly well but said he hopes next year he will have a chance to stick with the Orioles.

"They knew what I was throwing the biggest part of the time Their hitters were waiting on me," he said. "I was hoping to do well so I might have a shot at spot starting next year. I don't see me going back to Rochester.

"A couple of balls that were hits hurt simply because our guy don't know my style and where to play."

And how did it rate on the thrill scale?

"Well, this wasn't quite as exciting as my wedding night," said Boone. "But I love pitching against the greatest hitters in the world."

In the opener, Milacki pitched superbly in his first start since he

was knocked out after 2 1/3 innings in a 9-2 loss against Toronto on July 30.

The Indians managed only two singles -- one of those tainted - and only four baserunners against him in seven shutout innings.

And he gained his fifth victory despite a scary bottom of th ninth. Cleveland got to Jose Bautista and Curt Schilling for two doubles, two singles and three runs before Gregg Olson gained his 36th save with a final-out fly ball.

"He [Milacki] was great, especially under the circumstances, no having pitched in 16 days," said manager Frank Robinson. "You couldn't ask for more than that. That answers a lot of questions for him."

Milacki has spent most of the final two months with a straine right shoulder and has been limited to six innings in relief with so-so results.

He was 0-4 with a 5.67 ERA since his last victory, a 6-0, three-hi mastery of Minnesota on June 30.

But the Orioles were denied their first consecutive shutout since 1985 when a double by ex-teammate Stan Jefferson and an RBI single by Jerry Browne launched the three-run ninth.

Ben McDonald shut out Cleveland on Friday night, and Milack was well on his way to doing the same thing, but Robinson said, "You're only asking for trouble if you send him back out there for the eighth."

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