Orioles spray 15 hits, cool off Yankees in 7-4 win Horn's HR, 3 RBI help end losing streak

July 06, 1991|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Sun Staff Correspondent

NEW YORK -- The damp night did not dissuade the Baltimore Orioles, who would not let anyone rain on their hit parade last night.

Instead, they kept Yankee Stadium under a shower of base hits on the way to a 7-4 victory over the New York Yankees that ended a three-game losing streak and stopped the Yankees' winning streak at six.

Designated hitter Sam Horn drove in three runs with a home run and a single to lead the 15-hit assault that kept the Yankees from getting back to .500.

Right-hander Jeff Robinson delivered a strong performance on the way to his first victory in more than five weeks, but it nearly got away after he left the game with hip soreness in the sixth inning.

He worked 5 2/3 innings and gave up four hits before leaving with a 5-1 lead, but the Orioles needed a seventh-inning home run by Randy Milligan to take the wind out of a budding Yankees comeback.

Robinson had not won since May 29, when he gave up four hits in 7 1/3 innings to defeat the Cleveland Indians at Memorial Stadium. Only once since then had he given up more than three runs in a game, but he but he has averaged only about five innings per turn.

"My job is to get us into the seventh, eighth and ninth inning and I haven't done that," Robinson said. "I can't come out in that situation and expect to win, but I hung on, the bullpen did the job and we won."

This time, he carried a two-hit shutout into the sixth inning before Pat Sheridan got the Yankees on the scoreboard with his first home run in two years. Robinson's strong performance began to deteriorate at that point, and he left with two on and two out later in the inning.

"His heel had been bothering him," manager John Oates said. "He was having trouble pushing off the rubber and it was starting to affect him up in his hip. He was limping the whole inning, but I guess he's fine. It doesn't seem like anything severe."

Reliever Mark Williamson came on to get the last out, but not before he gave up three straight hits to make it a one-run game.

Milligan's 10th home run of the season provided some breathing room for left-hander Mike Flanagan, who came on to pitch two scoreless innings of relief. He turned the ninth inning over to stopper Gregg Olson, who gave up one hit on the way to his 16th save.

The Orioles found Yankees right-hander Tim Leary very hittable in the early innings, though they took their time making him pay for it.

He gave up two singles and a walk to load the bases in the first inning, giving newcomer Chito Martinez a shot at baseball immortality. In his first major-league at-bat, the International League home-run leader had a chance to hit a grand slam, but he sliced a routine fly ball to the left field to end the inning.

Martinez did get his first major-league hit, although it didn't come until the ninth inning, a single off Lee Guetterman.

Leary (4-8) also got off relatively cheaply in the third inning, though he gave up two runs on four hits and a walk. Horn and Milligan had back-to-back RBI singles, as four of the first five Orioles to bat in the inning hit safely. Leo Gomez drew a two-out walk to load the bases, this time giving catcher Chris Hoiles a chance to break the game open, but Horn ran the Orioles out of the inning trying to score on a pitch that bounced away from catcher Matt Nokes.

It was a strange -- almost comical -- play. Leary bounced a curveball, which caromed off Nokes and rolled up the first-base line. Horn and Leary broke for home as Nokes rushed to retrieve the ball. That's when the fun really began.

Leary reached the plate ahead of Horn, but he lost his footing as he took the flip from Nokes and ended up flat on his back with his glove on home plate. Horn tried to pounce on the plate, but apparently landed right on the glove and was called out by plate umpire Rocky Roe.

Horn disputed the play, and Oates joined the argument, but the video replay -- which showed Horn in slow motion while everything else was at regular speed -- appeared to back the umpire, who was in perfect position to make the call.

"I thought I got my hand on the plate," Horn said, "but then I fell on the glove. I thought I was safe, but he was right there and it didn't affect the outcome of the game, so it's no big deal."

Horn had the last laugh, blasting a 480-foot home run in the fifth inning that landed about three rows from the back of the bleacher section in right-center field.

The two-run shot was his 13th home run of the year, and it raised his RBI total to 33. He is averaging a home run every 13.2 at-bats, the best ratio among American League hitters with at least five home runs.

"I hit that ball well," he said. "I struck out my first time up, so the second time up, I was just trying to hit the ball and I got a knock [single]. The next time, I thought he would start me with a fastball, because I got the hit on an off-speed pitch. I guessed right."

Leary remained in the game long enough to walk Milligan, then gave way to reliever Greg Cadaret, who surrendered an RBI double to Gomez that increased the Orioles lead to five.

The line on Leary wasn't impressive. He lasted 4 2/3 innings and gave up nine hits and five earned runs, raising his ERA to 6.30.

Orioles today

Site: Yankee Stadium, New York

Time: 1:30 p.m.

Orioles starter: Ben McDonald (3-3, 5.63)

Yankees starter: Scott Sanderson (9-3, 3.69)

Radio: WBAL (1090 AM), WTOP (1500 AM)

TV: Channels 2, 20

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