Scott McGregor has a whammy on the Minnesota Twins. Tonight, the Oriole lefthander scattered seven hits and walked only one in winning, 9-2, for his 11th victory in his last 13 decisions.
McGregor (12-5) has beaten the hapless Twins three times this season without a loss. He has beaten them six straight times in the last three seasons. He has lost to them only once in his career.
His main support this evening came from Rich Dauer (two runs batted in), Ken Singleton (two hits, one an RBIdouble) and Mark Belanger, who had three hits. Pat Kelly's fourth-inning double, scoring Singleton, held up to be the game winning hit -- Kelly's third of the season.
The win was the Bird's ninth in their last 11 games and came in front of 21,981 that brought the season attendance in Memorial Stadium to 1,018,886, and marked the sixth straight season the club has drawn more than a million.
Tonight's crowd saw the Orioles batter four Minnesota pitchers for nine runs and 10 hits while the Twins' fielding helped out with two errors and sloppy positioning.Seven of the bird's funs came in two innings, the fourth and sixth.
Each team scored a run in the third inning before Baltimore broke it open in the fourth on three runs off Minnesota starter and loser Fernando Arroyo and reliever John Verhoeven.
Singleton led off with a single, Eddie Murray walked and designated hitter Kelly blasted a 1-0 pitch to the left-center wall for a run-scoring double. A wild pitch and Doug DeCinces' sacrifice fly scored two more runs.
In the sixth the Orioles tallied four runs on just two hits off Verhoeven and Mike Kinnunen. The hits were singles by Dan Graham and Belanger, who raised his average to .213, the first time he's been over .200 since May 11.
Minnesota had scored its second run in the fifth on back-to-back singles by Rick Sofield and Sal Butera and a double play ground out.
McGregor coasted through the last three innings, allowing only one base runner. He threw 16 straight strikes before walking Butera in the eighth on four pitches.
The remarkable thing about McGregor's complete game performance was that the control ace threw more than 73 percent fast balls in the 90 degree heat.
"I was trying to mix up a little of everything tonight, but I was getting ahead of the hitter so I was confident in going with my fast ball," McGregor said.
The locker room talk, now that the season is into August, was almost exclusively about the pennant race
"We're playing well," McGregor continued, "but we've got to make it contagious."
Manager Earl Weaver admitted he was s watching the scoreboard in the late innings after the Orioles had wrapped up their 57th win in 101 games.
"I've been watching the scoreboard since opening day," Weaver said. "but it's just getting to the time of the season where I know who to root against. It's no fun to watch the scoreboard when the Yanks are scoring all those runs in the late innings, though."
Weaver probably wore the biggest smile in the house when the Memorial scoreboard flashed the message that Milwaukee was beating the frontrunning Yankees, 2-0. The fans reacted wildly.
But Weaver was tucked away in his office beneath the stadium when the Yankees again registered a 5-3 victory to retain their 7 1/2 game lead over the Orioles.