Three-peat HRs lead O's to 14-5 win

September 13, 1993|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

This time Jamie Moyer got to thoroughly enjoy the fireworks.

In his previous starts this season, comprising the first 21 chapters of his amazing comeback story, the Orioles have scored in double figures twice. But both times the wily left-hander, who has a pair of 1-0 wins and another by a 2-1 score to his credit, didn't last long enough to claim the victory.

He had no such problems last night as Mike Devereaux triggered an early offensive onslaught that gave the Orioles a 14-5 win over the Oakland Athletics.

Devereaux, who drove in five runs, and Mike Pagliarulo both hit three-run homers in the third inning. Harold Baines added a bases-empty shot in the sixth and Cal Ripken capped the barrage with a three-run shot in the eighth as the Orioles won for the 11th time in their past 13 games.

The victory, which closed out a 4-2 homestand, enabled the Orioles to move into second place in the American League's Eastern Division, a half-game ahead of the New York Yankees and 1 1/2 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Orioles wasted little time taking control last night. They hammered Ron Darling (5-8) and a succession of relievers for 14 hits. Despite giving up home runs to Troy Neel and Kurt Abbott, Moyer (12-6) never gave the A's a chance to join the hunt as he spaced seven hits over eight innings.

Scott Brosius hit a three-run homer off Todd Frohwirth in the ninth to account for Oakland's final runs. For Moyer, the win was his fifth straight and 12th in his past 15 decisions. Since June 10, when he won his first game for the Orioles, Moyer has won 12 times -- the second-highest total in the American League behind Jack McDowell, who has 13 over that stretch.

The A's went into the game looking to win the rubber game of the three-game series and continue their role of spoiler in the AL East race. They had swept a three-game set from the Blue Jays before outscoring the Orioles, 12-9, for their fourth straight win Friday night.

However, the visitors had a couple of streaks working against them. Moyer had won his past four outings, and the A's were winless in their past six games against left-handed starting pitchers.

Nothing happened in the early innings to put either of those streaks in jeopardy. Moyer was even more effective than he'd been in a 6-3 win over the A's eight days ago, and this time his teammates gave him a huge early cushion.

Darling's only two previous starts against the Orioles came exactly one year apart -- on May 31, 1992 and 1993. They resulted in almost identical losses, 4-2 last year and 3-1 this season.

In those two starts, Darling had a 2.64 ERA and the current Orioles had a collective batting average of only .127 (10-for-79) against him going into last night's game. Those numbers, however, were altered rather dramatically during the right-hander's short stay.

The Orioles got a quick run in the first inning. Brady Anderson, the only hitter in the lineup with previous success against Darling (3-for-6, .500), opened with a double, went to third on a sacrifice by Mark McLemore and scored on a sacrifice fly by Devereaux.

That run was negated in the second, when Neel led off the inning by hitting his 18th home run over the center-field fence. But the Orioles and Moyer quickly regained control of the situation.

Moyer breezed through the rest of that inning and recorded three strikeouts in the third before turning the game over to the hitters.

Darling got Harold Reynolds on a fly ball to start the third, but before he could get another out the Orioles had added a half-dozen runs to take command.

A single by Anderson and a walk to McLemore preceded the 14th home run of the year by Devereaux, a drive into the right-center-field bleachers. The pattern was immediately duplicated as Baines singled and Ripken walked before Pagliarulo crushed the second three-run blast of the inning.

The home run was the eighth of the season for Pagliarulo, and his fifth since joining the Orioles less than a month ago. The veteran third baseman now has 16 RBI (39 total) in the 14 games he's played since being obtained from the Minnesota Twins Aug. 15.

Any remaining doubt about the outcome was removed an inning later, when a double by Devereaux, a single by Baines and an infield grounder by Ripken put three more runs on the board. Darling, who left after a leadoff single by Reynolds, gave up seven hits and was charged with eight runs.

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