The only positive thought crossing the mind of Baltimore Orioles Manager Earl Weaver was "Home Sweet Home," after his defending American League champions dropped a 5-2 decision to the Chicago White Sox today in Comiskey Park.
Sox starter Ross Baumgarten won by holding the Orioles to two runs on five hits in seven innings and was supported by clutch hitting from Jim Morrison and Lamar Johnson. Ed Farmer mopped up.
It was Baltimore's third consecutive loss to Chicago since winning the season opener here. The battered Birds headed home for the Memorial Stadium opener Tuesday, 2 p.m., against Kansas City.
"Well, at least we're going home with one win." Weaver said. "Losing games like this early in the year makes it twice as tough later in the season." g
In the early innings it looked as though the Orioles would return to Baltimore with two wins. The Birds produced a run in the first inning when Eddie Murray singled home Rich Dauer, who had walked and moved to second base on Baumgarten's wild pitch.
Oriol starter Dave Ford returned the favor with a wild pitch with the bases loaded in the third inning, tying the game. Baltimore came right back in the fourth. Murray walked, Doug DeCinces singles and Gary Roenicke drove in the go-ahead run with a bloop base hit to center field.
Ford's ocntinued wildness retied the count, 2-2 in the fifth. He walked the bases loaded, then hit Morrison with a pitch to force in a run.
"Ford is the last guy I would have expected this from," said Weaver, who at that juncture brought in Sammy Stewart.
The White Sox used a three-hit, three-run seventh inning to pin the defeat on Stewart.
Bruce Kimm started the rally with a single off DeCincees' glove at third.
Greg Pryor doubled down the right fidle line and Stewart loaded the bases by intentionally walking Alan Bannister.Morrison came through with a sacrifice fly to center field. Oriole nemesis Lamar Johnson drove in the final two runs with a tremendous double to straightaway center over Al Bumbry's head.
Johnson, a lifetime .380 hitter aginast Baltimore, had nine hits in 15 at bats during the series.
"They're all good hitters. Very good hitters," said Stewart, shaking his head in disbelief much later.
"They seem to score runs whenever they want I went with my best against Lamar, two straight sliders, but he's tough."
Weaver seemed to shake off the three losses much more easily than did Stewart.
"Are we off to a bad start?" Weaver asked. "Depends on what you mean by a start. We were 1-0 after opening day. That was a start. But if we're 1-33 in May, then that's a bad start."