Orioles beat Angels, 8-7, for 6th straight victory Sutcliffe's 15th keeps team half-game back

September 05, 1992|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA — ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Mike Devereaux and Glenn Davis keyed a four-run fifth inning as the Orioles beat the California Angels, 8-7, last night for their sixth straight win.

The victory enabled the Orioles to stay within a half-game of the division-leading Toronto Blue Jays, who defeated the Minnesota Twins, 16-5, last night.

Rick Sutcliffe (15-11) won his fifth straight, but it was a struggle. The right-hander had to survive a grand slam by Lee Stevens in the fourth inning and a three-run flurry in the seventh that was touched off by a warning for throwing brushback pitches.

The flare-up, which was not accompanied by any on-field skirmishes, came after Sutcliffe hit Chad Curtis with a first pitch to open the seventh. Chris Hoiles, who earlier had hit his 16th home run of the season, and Joe Orsulak had been hit by pitches in the preceding inning.

Sutcliffe allowed only six hits in the seven innings he worked, butwas charged with all of the Angels' runs. Mark Langston (12-12) took the brunt of the Orioles' 11-hit attack and got the loss.

"Rick threw much better than seven runs," Orioles manager Johnny Oates said.

"He walked a guy in the fourth, then he got the bases loaded and gave up the home run.

"But he came back and pitched well after that. Who's to figure? We all saw what happened the second time around," said Oates, referring to the Angels' uprising in the seventh inning.

After two uneventful innings, the Orioles got the scoring parade under way by bunching three hits for two runs in the third.

Hoiles opened with a single and, after Orsulak struck out, went to second on Mark McLemore's first hit of the game.

Brady Anderson then rifled a double into the left-field corner, scoring both runners. Randy Milligan drew a walk, but Devereaux hit into a force, and Davis was called out on strikes to end the inning.

Sutcliffe, making his major league-leading 31st start, was perfect through three innings. That continued the Orioles' run of pitching mastery on this road trip, with only two runs allowed over 51 innings dating to last Friday's 6-4 loss in Seattle.

But after the first 10 batters went out in order, the next four put Sutcliffe and the Orioles behind, 4-2. With one out Luis Sojo walked and Junior Felix followed with the Angels' first hit, a single to right.

Cal Ripken made a tumbling catch of Tim Salmon's grounder into the hole at deep shortstop, but didn't have a play, and the bases were loaded. Brief conversations with pitching coach Dick Bosman and Hoiles were unproductive as Stevens unloaded his seventh home run.

The grand slam was a career first for Stevens, and the first of the year for the Angels, who became the last American League team to connect with the bases loaded.

The Montreal Expos and the San Francisco Giants are now the only teams in the major leagues without a grand slam this season.

"I walked Sojo, and Felix hit the only fastball I gave him all night," Sutcliffe said. "Then I got a ground ball from Salmon, but he hit it in a good spot.

"I tried to throw a fastball in [to Stevens], but at the last second, I figured I needed to throw it in for a strike with the bases loaded. I haven't made that bad a pitch in quite a while -- it kind of shocked me."

The Angels' lead was short-lived, however, as the Orioles attacked Langston with a vengeance in the fifth inning, when they scored four runs of their own. The left-hander helped set up his early dismissal by walking Anderson after McLemore led off with a single through the middle.

Stevens appeared to freeze on Milligan's grounder to his right and the ball rolled into right field for a single, with McLemore scoring and Anderson going to third base. Devereaux and Davis finished Langston with back-to-back doubles.

Devereaux lashed his to right-center field on a 3-2 pitch to drive in the tying run and leave runners on second and third. Davis, fooled by the same pitch on the previous offering, scooped a curve ball on a line into the left-field corner, giving the Orioles a 6-4 lead.

Langston departed after giving up eight hits and six runs. Chuck Crim escaped further damage when Cal Ripken lined into a double play and Leo Gomez flied out.

Crim, however, did not get away unscathed.

Hoiles greeted the right-hander in the sixth inning with the home run to center field. It was the second for Hoiles since he returned Aug. 18 from an eight-week stay on the disabled list.

An inning later, the Orioles knocked out Crim, but not before he hit Hoiles on the upper left arm. Devereaux started with a single, went to third on a hit-and-run single by Ripken and scored on a long sacrifice fly by Gomez.

When Crim hit Hoiles with a pitch he drew a long stare from the Orioles' catcher -- and the hook from California manager Buck Rodgers. Left-hander Steve Frey's aim was no better as he came in and immediately plunked Orsulak to load the bases.

Shortstop Gary DiSarcina made a diving catch of McLemore's line drive to end the inning, and the Angels immediately got back into the game.

l,.5l Sutcliffe hit Curtis in the leg with his first pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning. That evoked a warning to both teams from plate umpire Drew Coble -- and set in motion a three-run inning for the home club.

DiSarcina singled and Damion Easley was credited with an infield hit on a disputed play, with Sutcliffe covering first on the grounder hit to McLemore at second base. The Angels got three runs on a balk, a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Ken Oberkfell and an infield grounder by Luis Polonia.

Frohwirth replaced Sutcliffe in the eighth and restored order with his two perfect innings.

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