O's enjoy rare laugher to end trip Anderson, Reynolds, Hoiles lead 9-2 rout

September 06, 1993|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Considering the circumstances, it was hardly unusual that the Orioles concluded their road trip here yesterday with a win over the Oakland Athletics.

However, the manner in which they went about their business was highly unusual for the Orioles. They actually enjoyed a "laugher," scoring early and often while rolling to a 9-2 win over the A's.

Their seventh straight win enabled the Orioles to close to within 2 1/2 games of the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees, now tied for first place in the American League's Eastern Division. For the suddenly hapless A's, en route to a first- to last-place finish, the loss was the sixth in a row and the 15th in their last 16 games.

"No comment from me today -- talk to the hitters," said Mike Mussina. The Orioles right-hander allowed five hits in eight innings while improving his record to 14-5.

Mussina had ample reason to deflect most of the credit to his offensive backers. The Orioles scored eight times in the first four innings, with six of those runs accounted for by the bottom three hitters in the lineup.

Brady Anderson, who led off the game with his 13th home run of the year, Chris Hoiles, who hit his 22nd homer, and Harold Reynolds each had three hits. Reynolds was the top run-producer, driving in three with a double and two singles.

"It's good to see the bats come around," manager Johnny Oates said after the rare blowout victory. "Mike pitched his normal game, making pitches when he had to and we hit the ball very well."

For Anderson and Hoiles in particular, yesterday's win capped an explosive series. Anderson, who also performed like a Gold Glover in the outfield, had seven hits in the three games, one more than Hoiles. Each contributed a pair of home runs.

"Man, this is exciting now," said Reynolds, enjoying his first division race in the last month of the season. "I always felt like we were in the race, but this has made it a lot more fun."

A lot more than the Orioles could have expected after losing the first two games in Texas. "It looked bleak then, didn't it?" said Reynolds. "But I think this has been the character of this team. I don't know how to explain it, what to say, but we've been like that all year."

It was only three weeks ago that the Orioles first appeared to drop out of the race, losing eight in a row. Then, after a slight recovery, they dropped into fifth place by losing two straight to the Rangers in Texas.

At that point, the Orioles were virtually dismissed from the race. But they rebounded with a win in the final game in Texas, then swept both the California Angels and the A's to get back into the race.

Yesterday they jumped on Bob Welch, who has the lone win in the last 16 games for the A's. The big right-hander also owned an 8-3 lifetime record against the Orioles, including wins in six of his last seven decisions.

But Anderson lit the fuse early with his drive over the right-center-field fence, and the Orioles never let up. They scored three times in each of the next two innings.

In the second, Hoiles homered and Mike Devereaux delivered a two-run single. Reynolds had a two-run double and scored on a single by Anderson in the third, and Harold Baines and Cal Ripken chipped in back-to-back doubles in the fourth to make it 8-0.

That made it a relatively easy day for Mussina, who breezed to his third win in four starts since coming off the disabled list Aug. 20.

ON THE ROAD WITH THE ORIOLES

The Orioles completed a successful road trip yesterday with a 9-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics, improving their winning streak to seven games. A breakdown of the Orioles' road trips

this season:

Dates .. .. .. .. .. Opponents .. .. .. .. .. .. .. W-L

4/9-14 .. .. .. .. .. Sea., Tex. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 2-4

4/23-27 .. .. .. .. .. K.C.,Chi. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1-4

5/4-9 .. .. .. .. .. .. Minn., Tor. .. .. .. .. .. .. 3-3

5/14-16 .. .. .. .. .. Det. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1-2

5/24-6/2 .. .. .. .. .. N.Y., Calif., Oak. .. .. .. .. 5-5

6/10-20 .. .. .. .. .. Bos., Mil., Cle. .. .. .. .. .. 7-3

7/1-7 .. .. .. .. .. .. Chi., K.C. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 4-3

7/22-28 .. .. .. .. .. Minn., Tor. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 2-4

8/9-18 .. .. .. .. .. .. Det., N.Y., Sea. .. .. .. .. .. 2-8

8/27-9/5 .. .. .. .. .. Tex., Calif., Oak. .. .. .. .. .. 7-2

Record .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 34-38

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