New streak breweing? O's win, 8-5 HRs by Anderson, Segui, Baines spark 11th win in past 12

June 15, 1993|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

MILWAUKEE -- The Orioles may have missed a beat on Sunday afternoon, but they obviously did not forget what it takes to reconstruct their division title hopes and salvage a seemingly lost season.

The Milwaukee Brewers could only hope that they would flare out after their 10-game winning streak ended in Boston, but nothing like that happened last night. Instead, the Orioles hammered out an 8-5 victory at Milwaukee County Stadium and stayed the course back toward the top of the American League East standings.

Right-hander Rick Sutcliffe gave up three runs on 10 hits in a rocky six-inning performance, but the once-struggling Orioles offense erupted for five runs in the sixth to carry him to his fifth victory in a row and seventh of the year.

"We have a lot of things going for us right now," Sutcliffe said. "We're playing good baseball and a lot of the negatives we had early in the year have turned into positives."

His performance wasn't pretty, but it didn't have to be because of big offensive performances by Brady Anderson, Harold Baines and David Segui, all of whom homered in the course of the Orioles' 11th victory in the past 12 games.

Anderson hit a bases-empty home run in the fourth and delivered an RBI triple in the five-run sixth as he continued to emerge from a six-week slump. Segui had a home run and a double. Baines added a two-run shot -- his third home run in a week -- and a sacrifice fly.

Baines' homer came two innings after the Orioles had staged their big sixth-inning rally, but it would play large when the Brewers opened the ninth inning with back-to-back singles off reliever Mark Williamson.

Gregg Olson took over from there and hung on to record his 17th save. He has converted seven straight save opportunities during the club's 11-1 roll to move into a tie with Toronto Blue Jays reliever Duane Ward for third place on the American League save list.

It wasn't easy. Brewers outfielder Greg Vaughn, who already had hit two home runs in the game, came to the plate representing the potential tying run with one out and lined to third baseman Leo Gomez to start a game-ending double play.

Gomez was on the receiving end of several hard shots and two line-drive, double-play balls, both times hanging up former Orioles shortstop Juan Bell on the bases.

"Leo had his goalie's mask on today," said manager Johnny Oates, who had mildly criticized Gomez for a grounder that got by him in Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox.

The last thing Sutcliffe wanted to do was cede what remained of the momentum from the just-ended 10-game winning streak, but he threatened to do just that when he temporarily lost his grip on the situation in the fourth inning.

He held the Brewers scoreless through the first three innings and got the lead when Anderson opened the fourth with his sixth home run, but the Brewers stormed right back with three runs in the bottom of the inning.

Third baseman B. J. Surhoff led off the fourth with a single to center and Vaughn provided an instant comeback with the first of his two home runs into the bleachers in right-center field. The Brewers added a third run when Robin Yount doubled and Bill Spiers brought him home with a single to right.

"My problem has been the big inning," said Sutcliffe, whose 7-2 record looks a little strange next to a husky 4.70 ERA. "As long as I've been able to keep the damage to a minimum, things have gone all right."

There was room to wonder if that three-run outburst would be enough to send the Orioles to their second straight defeat. They had fallen victim to one big inning in Sunday's streak-breaker and did not appear to be making much headway against Brewers starter Bill Wegman in the early innings.

But Wegman (4-10) is not Roger Clemens, a fact that became apparent during the Orioles' five-run rally in the sixth. He gave up a long home run to Segui to open the inning and his performance went steadily downhill from there, but not without some dubious assistance in the outfield.

Second baseman Harold Reynolds followed Segui's homer with a walk and Anderson drove a line drive up the alley in right-center for a game-tying RBI triple -- his third three-base hit of the season. Mark McLemore got credit for the go-ahead RBI single when his pop fly fell between Vaughn and Yount in short center.

The Orioles still weren't through. Cal Ripken drove in the fourth run of the inning with another shot into the gap in right-center and ended up at third when Darryl Hamilton bobbled the ball. Baines made the Brewers pay with a sacrifice fly to center.

The game was a study in clutch hitting. The Orioles had eight hits in all and six of them drove home runs.

"That's just the opposite of what we did early in the season," Oates said. "We're scoring a lot of runs late in the game, but we've had to because we have been outscored by a great deal in the first three innings."

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