The minnesota Twins terminated three streaks coveted by the Baltimore Orioles tonight. They could not do anything about a fourth, however, as the Orioles got 19 hits and recorded a 9-4 victory, their 10th straight over the struggling Twins.
Ken Singleton had three hits, including his eighth homer, and raised his American League-leading average to .378. Rockie shortstop Bob Bonner, in only his seventh major league game, had four hits in five at bats.
The most courageous Oriole was relief pitcher Sammy Stewart. He replaced starter Dennis Martinez with none out in the sixth and Baltimore's lead cut to 5-4, and shut out the Twins the rest of the way.
Stewart will fly to Baltimore Saturday morning to be with his seriously ill 21-month-old son, Colin. His mind had to be elesewhere tonight, but he permitted only one hit in earning his second save.
The Twins' minds seemed elsewhere, too, and the small crowd of 6,268 on a beautiful evening was unsparing in its jeers, despite the action Thursday by first baseman Ron Jackson. He went to the stands and slapped a heckler after a loss to Boston.
Hosken Powell was picked off first by catcher Rick Dempsey in the seventh after a leadoff single made him a candidate to score the tying run. Roy Smalley, starting at shortstop for the first time since hurt a shoulder a week ago, dropped a high pop fly with two out in the ninth, permitting a run to score, and another followed before the side was retired.
Manager John Gorly did not seem especially alert, Either, when he allowed reliever John O'Connor to pitch to Singleton with first base open and one out in the eighth. Singleton singled to right, scoring the two runs that broke the game open.
Singleton, batting left-handed against Minnesota starter Pete Redfern, sent a 377-foot homer into the bleachers in left as the Orioles took a 3-0 lead before a batter was retired. singleton, up to .405 as a lefty, later hit two singles to right against left-hander O'Connor and raised his right-handed mark to .292.
Despite that three-run jump, the Orioles had reason to be concerned, particularly as those three streaks didappeared.
The first to go was Dempsey's mark of not haveing permitted a stolen base in nine attempts this season. Gary Ward, who walked to start the second inning, took care of the one on the next pitch, getting a big jump on Martinez and beating Dempsey's perfect throw.
Sal Buttera's two-out single scored Ward with the first run permitted by a Baltimore pitcher in the last 23 innigns, Scott McGregor and Mike Flanagan having blanked Toronto to prepare the Blue Jays for tonight's ultimate batting disaster against Cleveland's Len Barker.
The third streak died in the sixth and Ward was the force once more. He hit a 380-foot, opposite-field homer to right, the first home run yielded by the Oriole staff in eight games since May 5, when Ward connected against Flanagan in Baltimore.
Ward's homer, reducing the Twins' deficit to 5-4, raised a few hopes in the stands, but Stewart's relief work and Minnesota's own shortcomings quickly quelled them.
Baltimore haw won 12 of its last 15 and trails first-place Cleveland by one game in the East. Minnesota, losing its 20th game in 31, is 12 games behind Oakland in the West and has averaged fewer than 7,300 fans at home.