ANAHEIM, CALIF — ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Mike Devereaux broke out of a 2-for-40 slump with a two-run homer and Mark Williamson and Jim Poole combined for 3 2/3 scoreless innings in relief last night as the Orioles held off the California Angels, 4-3.
The win was the fourth in a row for the Orioles, who trail first-place Toronto by 5 1/2 games, and marked the first time they've beaten Chuck Finley in Anaheim Stadium. Despite allowing 13 hits, Finley (14-11) lasted the entire game, throwing a staggering 157 pitches.
In addition to Devereaux's first-inning homer, Brady Anderson had three hits plus a walk, stole two bases and scored two runs, and Chris Hoiles also had three hits as the Orioles built an early lead. But they failed to capitalize on two opportunities to break open the game.
"We swung the bats OK," said Orioles manager Johnny Oates, "but you've got to give Finley credit. He made us swing at some bad pitches."
For the second straight start, Arthur Rhodes (4-3) was unable to get through the sixth inning, but this time he did qualify for a win. The24-year-old left-hander, making his sixth start since coming off the disabled list Aug. 4, struggled through two innings and then cruised through the fifth before the Angels caught up with him.
In his most recent appearance, a week ago in Texas, Rhodes left with one out in the sixth inning and the Orioles leading 3-1. Last night his duration of time in the game was identical, and he again was chargedwith three runs, all of them coming when he was in the game, while giving up five hits, walking two and striking out four.
It was a two-run homer by Tim Salmon, who drove in all the Angels' runs, that set the stage for the departure of Rhodes. He turned a 4-3 lead over to Williamson with the tying run on base and one out in the sixth.
"I came in feeling like I had good stuff," said Williamson, who got Eduardo Perez and Rene Gonzales on ground balls to end the inning. "I just told myself to be aggressive and go after people. Those first two outs were big ones, but I felt it would take two
hits in that situation to beat me."
When Perez led off the ninth with a single, Poole came on to get pinch hitter Luis Polonia to hit into a double play and J. T. Snow to ground out to end the game and claim his second save of the season.
For Poole, facing two hitters almost qualified him for overtime. The left-hander has been used mostly in a specialized role to face left-handed hitters. But after getting the left-handed-hitting Polonia, Oates left Poole in the game to face the switch-hitting Snow, whose power is primarily from the left side.
"I guess I expanded my role," joked Poole. "And I even got a bonus out [on the double play]."
"The bullpen has pitched well for us all year," said Oates. "They were down a little bit at the All-Star break, but other than that they've done a good job."
Originally, Finley was scheduled to face the Blue Jays tonight and miss the Orioles series. But he and fellow left-hander Mark Langston asked Angels manager Buck Rodgers to keep both on a steady rotation of pitching every fifth day.
Rodgers granted the request and moved Finley up one day. The left-hander went into the game with a 6-4 lifetime record and a 2.98 ERA against the Orioles, including a 5-0 mark at Anaheim Stadium.
Going by the numbers, the Orioles' first two runs came from an unexpected source. Other than Tim Hulett, who was hitless in six at-bats, Devereaux went into the game with less success against Finley (5-39, .128) than anyone else.
But after Anderson opened the game with an infield hit and stole second while Jeffrey Hammonds was striking out, Devereaux found a pitch to his liking. He drove the high offering deep into the left-field seats, his 12th home run and first since Aug. 14. The two RBI were the first for Devereaux against Finley.
The Angels halved the 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, when Chad Curtis tripled and scored on an infield hit by Salmon. But Rhodes got Chili Davis to hit into a double play and then survived two base runners in the second, when Gonzales doubled and Chris Turner walked.
The Orioles doubled their run total in the third, when Anderson again led off with a single, this one a drive to right field. Hammonds got an infield hit and the runners moved up when Devereaux tried to bunt for a base hit but settled for a sacrifice.
Cal Ripken's slow roller to third, which Perez booted for an error, and a single to center by Hoiles increased the lead to 4-1. An inning later the Orioles mounted another threat, but Finley managed to escape.
A walk to David Segui, a single by Jack Voigt and Anderson's sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third. However, Finley struck out both Hammonds and Devereaux, the latter after a long drive down the left-field line that hooked foul.