Darwin stays on course as Red Sox's '93 MVP

August 02, 1993|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Staff Writer

Less than a day after tagging Red Sox ace Roger Clemens for four runs on 10 hits, the Orioles ran into Boston's real 1993 stopper, Danny Darwin.

"He's been outstanding for us. If you could name an MVP for the first half of the season, he would be it," said Red Sox manager Butch Hobson, whose team is 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Toronto Blue Jays. "Plus, the guys enjoy playing behind him."

Allowing one run and four hits through 6 1/3 innings yesterday, the right-hander er defeated the Orioles, 2-1. Darwin's 10th victory tops a staff that leads the American league in ERA and fewest hits surrendered.

Darwin (10-8) had more than one Oriole on base in just one inning, and only three Orioles got past first base. He has walked two or fewer batters in 19 of 22 starts, including his start yesterday.

"I make the other team hit the ball," said Darwin, who lowered his ERA to 3.16. "I'm not the type of pitcher who walks a lot of guys. I make them hit it, and hopefully it's hit at somebody."

Darwin's toughest situation came in the third inning of a scoreless game, after David Segui led off with a

double. Darwin got Tim Hulett to ground back to the mound and Harold Reynolds to fly out to right. With runners in scoring position with fewer than two outs, Hulett was batting .294 and Reynolds was hitting .333.

Darwin walked Mark McLemore to put runners on first and second, but struck out Mike Devereaux to end the inning.

Darwin retired 10 of the next 11 batters before Chris Hoiles launched a 405-foot home run into the left-field seats in the seventh to make it 2-1.

"I left a slider down the middle," said Darwin, who was immediately replaced by Greg Harris. "I give up some home runs because I'm around the plate. If I walk him, we don't have a chance to get him out."

That homer broke Darwin's 14-inning scoreless streak against the Orioles at Camden Yards this year. He beat the Orioles, 2-0, on May 12, giving up two hits in 7 2/3 innings.

Darwin has won four of his past five decisions with a 2.79 ERA in that span. However, he apparently wasn't at his best yesterday.

"He didn't have his good stuff," Boston catcher and former Oriole Bob Melvin said. "He kept them off balance enough to win. He had to battle out there with his four pitches. That shows how much of a veteran pitcher he really is."

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