McDonald wants 8-ball in pocket

May 18, 1994|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Sun Staff Writer

Ben McDonald attempts to become the first eight-game winner in the major leagues tonight when the Orioles and Boston Red Sox continue their series at Camden Yards.

The Orioles got a leg up in the three-game set last night with a 3-2 win as Mike Mussina won a sterling pitching duel with Roger Clemens and Lee Smith recorded his major-league-leading 16th save. The win broke the Orioles' three-game losing streak and also stopped a four-game winning streak by the Red Sox.

It was a night for streaks to end as the New York Yankees lost for the first time in 11 games, enabling the Orioles to move to within three games of the American League East leaders.

McDonald (7-1, 3.34) dropped a 4-1 decision to the Minnesota Twins in his most recent start last Friday. He will be opposed by Aaron Sele (4-1, 2.35).

This will be the first appearance against the Orioles for Sele, who had an impressive major-league debut during the second half of last year. In 18 games a year ago, the 23-year-old right-hander went 7-2 with a 2.74 ERA and has shown no signs of slacking off.

Rafael Palmeiro, whose scratch infield single set up the winning run last night, will try to match a career-high 20-game hit streak tonight. His 19-game string is the longest in the major leagues this year and one game shy of the one he put together for the Chicago Cubs in 1988.

Palmeiro's streak is three games shy of the Orioles' club record, set by Doug DeCinces in 1978-79 and matched by Eddie Murray in 1984.

The Orioles close out the series with the Red Sox, and a brief three-game homestand, tomorrow night before embarking on their second extended road trip of the season. It begins with three games in New York over the weekend and continues with three-game series in Milwaukee and Chicago.

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