"You can look at it two ways," Earl Weaver said, leaning back in his chair in the Baltimore Oriole clubhouse. "You can say we've lost six out of eight, or we've won two out of three. I prefer the latter."
So do the Orioles, the continue to thrive in friendly Anaheim Stadium. They broke a five-game losing streak here Friday and made it two out of three today, defeating the California Angels, 4-1, behind the six-hit pitching of Dennis Martinez and home runs by John Lowenstein and Eddie Murray.
It was Baltimore's ninth victory in its last 10 games here and, counting the 1979 American League championship series, the Orioles have won 25 of 33 from California since the start of the 1979 season.
"I don't know why," Weaver said. "Our personnel is what it boils down to, our pitchers against their hitters. We've got the type pitchers they have trouble hitting -- except for last night (a reference to the Angels' 10-0 triumph Saturday)."
"Last night is all gone. Today was another day," said Martinez, who proved extremely troublesome to California in raising his record to 7-2 and winning his second complete game in 10 starts. Or his third, if you count his 10-inning, no-decision outing against New York Wednesday, and he does.
"It was a complete game, wasn't it?" he asked with a tired smile, perspiration still dripping from his forehead after nine innings on a hot day.
"That game with New York really helped me. I never expected to get through 10 innings without giving up a run. After that I felt I could do it against anybody. And this club has some great hitters."
None was particularly troublesome, however. He gave up the run on Dan Ford's single, two infield outs and Butch Hobson's single in the second inning, but did not allow a hit after Rick Burleson's one-out double in the fifth and retired 10 in a row between a sixth-inning walk to Ed Ott and third baseman Doug DeCinces' error on Hobson's grounder with two outs in the ninth. He walked two and struck out four.
"The little fella is a damn good pitcher," said Gene Mauch, the California manager.
"His slider was good, his curve ball was good and he used his change-up at the right time," Weaver said while his club packed for a trip to Oakland, where the Orioles will open a three-game series with a doubleheader Tuesday. "He's been here long enough to all those things. He's capable of it. It's just a shame we didn't get that game in New York for him. "If we had, we'd still be in first place." Baltimore, in second, trials the Yankees by one game.
"My best pitches today were the fast ball and slider," Martinez said. I was getting them in good locations, good spots, so I just stayed with them."
Martinez got all the runs he needed from Lowenstein and Murray, who had home runs in the second and fourth innings, respectively, off California starter Dave Frost (1-1), making his second start after being recalled from Salt Lake City. The righthander had been sent down to work himself into shape after elbow surgery last year and back problems this spring.
He lasted only two batters into the fifth inning this time, leaving when his arm tightened up after a one-out walk to Mark Belanger.
Al Bumbry scored Belanger with a double off Andy Hassler, and the Orioles got their final run off Hassler in the seventh on DeCinces' double and a single by catcher Rick Dempsey, who is coming out of his slump.