Dennis Martinez, who finds himself in a starting rotation with three Cy Young award winners, is pitching better than any of his celebrated teammates at present.
He allowed Minnesota only one earned run tonight and won his second straight game when pinch hitter Terry Crowley singled over first base on a full count pitch with two out in the 10th inning to give Baltimore a 4-3 victory before 9,717 at Memorial Stadium.
Martinez (2-1), who shut out the Chicago White Sox for the last 8 1/3 innings in his last start, extended his scoreless inning streak to 11 2/3 before Rob Wilfong's run-scoring single in the fourth inning gave the Twins a 1-0 lead.
But Baltimore scored three runs in its next turn at bat on four straight hits, a walk and a sacrifice fly. Minnesota tied the game, 3-3, with two unearned runs in the sixth and the score remained tied through the ninth with Martinez and 37-year-old Jerry Koosman refusing to give.
The Orioles, who left 11 men on base, squandered chances to take the lead in the seventh and eighth innings. The Twins threatened in the 10th when Ron Jackson hit a two-out double. But Martinez, on his 113th pitch, retired pinch hitter Danny Goodwin on an infield grounder.
Eddie Murray, who entered the game hitting .120 but had two hits, led off the Oriole 10th with a sharp single to left and advanced to second on Benny Ayala's sacrifice bunt. At that point Kossman was relieved by Doug Corbett. Gary Roenicke reached base on Jackson's fielding error, but Doug DeCinces struck out.
Crowley, hitting for catcher Rick Dempsey, took Corbett to 3-2 before driving a high fast ball on the ground past Jackson's outstretched glove, over first base and into right field.
It was the third time this season Oriole pinch hitters have won a game in the ninth or 10th inning with the score tied. Baltimore pinch hitters have five hits in 14 at bats, a .357 average.
"We have the best pinch hitting in the league," said Martinez. "I was ready to go back out to the mound, but with Terry up there, I knew it was very possible that I wouldn't have to."
Said Crowley, "Corbett threw the first four or five pitches low and away. He tried to come up and I was leaning over the plate and hit it good. His ball was moving pretty well. I was surprised that he did come up. I came out and hit early today for about five minutes. I felt pretty good and more comfortable that I have been."
Martinez had excellent control (76 strikes, 37 balls) and the Twins never really solved him. They scored their first run when Roy Smalley singled, went to second on an infield out and scored on Wilfong's hit to center. Oriole center fielder Al Bumbry's throw wasn't strong enough. But Murray cut it off and threw to Rich Dauer at first, who tagged out Wilfong taking too wide a turn at first.
The Minnesota runs in the sixth were a result of Baltimore shortstop Lenn Sakata's fielding error. Mickey Hatcher drove in Hosken Powell and the second run scored on a double play.
"He struggled a bit in the sixth," said Dempsey. "But he had good velocity. I could tell by the way the ball was popping in my glove. Plus, he was getting both the fast ball and changeup on the corner. His control is so good now that umpires are giving him pitches an inch or two off the plate."
The Orioles scored their other three runs in the fourth. Murray, Alaya and Roenicke signed with one out. DeCinces hit a two-run double to left field to score two runs and Sakata's fly ball to center drove in Roenicke.