ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Manager Frank Robinson has been hoping against hope that his starting rotation will find a way to cure what ails the Baltimore Orioles.
He was saying just the other day that if he just could go through the rotation once without an early-inning blowup, perhaps that would turn the club around.
The California Angels scored five times in the first inning last night and went on to score a 6-3 victory before 29,612 at Anaheim Stadium.
Dave Winfield and Lance Parrish each drove in two runs in support of left-hander Mark Langston, who gave up five hits over seven innings to earn his second victory of the season.
The loss ended a two-game winning streak for the Orioles, who had gotten back-to-back solid performances from starters Jose Mesa and Ben McDonald to overcome their continuing offensive struggles.
Last night's starter, Jeff Robinson, was coming off a pair of solid performances, but neither bore any resemblance to what happened last night. The Angels batted around to score five times in the first inning, and Robinson was gone before he could record the second out.
Center fielder Luis Polonia doubled over the head of center fielder Mike Devereaux to open the inning and would reach base again before it was over. In between, Wally Joyner gave the Angels the lead with a one-out single and Winfield drove in two runs with a bases-loaded double before Parrish drove Robinson out of the game with a run-scoring hit.
Milacki came on to give up a broken-bat, RBI single to Jack Howell and load the bases with a two-out walk to Polonia, but got out of the inning without further damage.
The first inning (both halves) lasted 45 minutes and featured 70 pitches, which is quite a few when you consider that Ben McDonald needed just 85 to pitch a complete-game shutout in his first major-league start last year.
But Robinson's performance was the shortest (in terms of innings pitched) by an Orioles starter this year, though not the shortest of his career. He gave up seven runs and did not record an out in a start against the Boston Red Sox on Aug. 3, 1990.
It was only the second appearance of the year for Milacki, who pitched a strong 5 1/3 innings in his 1991 debut last Sunday. He was almost as effective this time, giving up just two singles until Parrish opened the sixth with a bases-empty home run.
The Orioles didn't lie down against Langston, at least not right away. They came right back after the five-run Angels first and scored two runs in the top of the second. If not for a couple of fine catches by Winfield, they might have gotten back in the game.
Winfield made a diving catch to rob Leo Gomez of a leadoff single, which turned out to be particularly fortunate for Langston, who went on to give up solid hits to three straight batters before Winfield made a shoestring catch to take a hit away from Devereaux.
Bill Ripken drove in the first Orioles run with a double down the left-field line, and Devereaux's line drive brought home Joe Orsulak from third.
Langston, who had walked two in the first inning, struck out Randy Milligan to end the second and then settled in to hold the Orioles scoreless until Dwight Evans doubled home a run with two out in the seventh.
The Angels left-hander is coming off a disappointing 10-17 debut season with the club, but he has won two of his first three decisions in 1991. The victory was the 10th of his career against the Orioles, who defeated him in both of his starts against them last season.
Langston threw 116 pitches before turning the game over to baseball's other Jeff Robinson -- the Angels' right-handed middleman -- after seven innings.
* Orioles-Angels scoring Angels first: Polonia doubled to center. Hill struck out. Joyner singled to right, Polonia scored. Gaetti singled to second, Joyner to second. Parker walked, Joyner to third, Gaetti to second. Winfield doubled to left, Joyner and Gaetti scored, Parker to third. Parrish singled to left, Parker scored, Winfield to third. Milacki relieved J.M.Robinson. Howell singled to center, Winfield scored, Parrish to second. Gallagher struck out. Polonia walked, Parrish to third, Howell to second. Hill grounded into fielder's choice to shortstop, Polonia forced at second, shortstop to second. Angels 5, Orioles 0.
Orioles second: Gomez flied out to right. Worthington doubled to left. Orsulak singled to right, Worthington to third. B.Ripken doubled to left, Worthington scored, Orsulak to third. Devereaux hit sacrifice fly to right, Orsulak scored. Milligan struck out. Angels 5, Orioles 2.
Angels sixth: Parrish homered to left. Howell flied out to left. Gallagher singled to pitcher. Polonia grounded into fielder's choice to pitcher, Gallagher forced at second, pitcher to shortstop. Schofield, pinch hitting for Hill, grounded out to third. Angels 6, Orioles 2.
Orioles seventh: Devereaux grounded out to pitcher. Milligan walked. C.Ripken flied out to center. Evans doubled to right, Milligan scored. Melvin grounded out to pitcher. Angels 6, Orioles 3.
Site: Anaheim (Calif.) Stadium
Orioles starter: Jeff Ballard (2-2, 4.40)
Angels starter: Jim Abbott (0-4, 6.00)
Radio: WBAL (1090 AM), WTOP (1500 AM)
TV: Channels 2, 20