The Milwaukee Brewers reverted to what they do best - pound the daylights out of the baseball - and capitalized on what the Baltimore Orioles have recently done the worst - hold a lead and prevent the long ball - to register an 8-4 victory over the Birds tonight at Memorial Stadium.
"The way to beat Milwaukee is to try and outscore them," said Oriole right fielder Ken Singleton. "Theyve got guys who can hit."
Reliever Don Stanhouse was a prime witness to the veracity of Singleton's observation. The right-hander, involved in only his second relief stint since June 24, came on in the ninth inning, gave up four hits and a like number of runs as Milwaukee snapped a 4-4 deadlock, and suffered his second loss against six victories.
"The sun don't shine on the same (rear) every day," said the unflappable Stanhouse.
Brewer hits rained on Stanhouse after he retired the leadoff man. Don Money smacked his third hit of the game and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After a Cecil Cooper single, Gorman Thomas' sacrifice, a walk, Sixto Lezcano's two-run double and another Brewer single, the score stood 8-4 and all suspense was ended as to whether Baltimore could avert a fourth straight setback.
The sole positive factor for the home team came when the scoreboard showed that Boston had dropped a twin bill to Cleveland, allowing Baltimore to increase its American League East lead to 5 1/2 games.
The game was delayed for 1 hour 8 minutes in the top of the third inning by a rainstorm with the Orioles holding a 3-1 lead.
Benny Ayala's fourth home run of the season - a two-run shot in the first inning - and a sacrifice fly by Doug DeCinces to score Singleton accounted for all of Baltimore's run production until the eighth inning.
Cooper's run-scoring double in the first got the Brewers on the board.
Milwaukee southpaw Billy Travers came into the game 1-4 lifetime against the Orioles, got socked with the three runs in the first and then settled down to limit the hosts to just four hits and one run over the next seven innings.
"During the rain delay my shoulder tightened up," Travers said. "My fast ball had been up before that but the stiff arm made it start sinking. However, I throw my fork ball well with a stiff arm.
"I got ahead of the hitters using the fast ball and then went to the fork pitch. Sometimes it dances like a knuckleball and other times it comes in with a down rotation like a spitball."
The southpaw picked up his 10th victory against five losses by retiring the side in the second, third, fifth, sixth and seventh innings while awaiting the Brewer batsmen to make the most of their 14 hits. Milwaukee now has 25 hits in the two-game series, which concludes with a night game Thursday.
"Baltimore gets the jump on you like they did in the first inning and it scares you," Travers said. "I was afraid I was going to be removed early like I was in my last start against the Red Sox.
The Brewers staved off any quick removal of Travers by picking up an unearned run in the fourth after Oriole third baseman DeCinces misplayed a ground ball. Robin Yount, the benefactor of the error, stole second and made it 3-2 on Paul Molitor's single.
Dave Ford, who had come on in relief on Oriole starter Steve Stone, was greeted in the seventh by leadoff man Charlie Moore's double to right. The extra base was a gift: Moore's blooper took a two-foot bounce before dying in the soggy outfield turf. A slow reaction and throw by second by Singleton assured the pinch hitter of the double.
Molitor then laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Moore to third and Don Money ripped a two-bagger down the left field foul line to know the score, 3-3.
Baltimore Manager Earl Weaver was not around to see that action, having been served with his sixth ejection of the season after arguing too strenously over a ball four call with Money at bat in the fifth. Weaver, however, had company in the Bird clubhouse: Jim Frey, the team's hitting instructor and first base coach, was given his walking papers an inning earlier when he jawed too long and strong over a called second strike with Dempsey at bat.
The Brewers, who have hit 21 home runs in 12 games with the Orioles, made it 4-3 on Oglivie's eight-inning solo shot - his 21st homer - off Ford.
Singleton retaliated in the bottom of the inning by knocking a 2-0 Travers pitch over the right-center field fence to again tie the score, 4-4. CAPTION: Picture 1, Edward Bennett Williams chats with Mr. and Mrs. Jerold C. Hoffberger and media members; Picture 2, Williams and Oriole Manager Earl Weaver confer; Picture 3, Williams, flanked by Hoffbergers and Balitmore Mayor William Schaefer, signs autograph. by Richard Darcey - The Washington Post