Keith Drumright singled home Mike Heath from third base with two outs in the ninth inning tonight, lifting the Oakland A's to a 3-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles for a sweep of their doubleheader.
In the opener, Jim Palmer walked Drumright with the bases loaded for the go-ahead run in the seventh inning to help the A's to a 4-2 triumph as Steve McCatty stopped the Orioles on six hits.
In the ninth inning of the second game, Heath drew a one-out walk off Sammy Stewart (2-3) and Jeff Newman followed with a single. Pinch hitter Wayne Gross hit into a fielder's choice, sending Heath to third, and Drumright then cracked his game-winning hit into left field.
With the A's trailing 2-1, Newman led off the eighth with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice and, one out later, scored the tying run on Rob Picciolo's looping double down the right field line.
The Orioles moved ahead, 1-0, in the second game on consecutive third-inning singles by Larry Krenchicki, Al Bumbry and Rick Dauer. Krenchicki played in place of third baseman Doug DeCines, who suffered a muscle spasm in his back in pregame workout.
Cliff Johnson tied it with a homer off Scott McGregor in the fourth, but Ken Singleton, who had gone 14 straight games without a run-batted-in, drove home Bumbry from second in the fifth with a sharp single to center, chasing Oakland's Brian Kingman.
In the opener, the A's broke open a 2-2 game in the seventh. It began with shortstop Mark Belanger booting a grounder by Jim Spencer. Heath, after twice bunting foul, singled to center. That seemed to unnerve Palmer, who walked designated hitter Mark Budaska; then Drumright was walked on four straight pitches, forcing home Spencer and bringing in Tim Stoddard. He walked ninth-place batter Fred Stanley to score Heath.
Palmer took heat on his neck between innings from the fourth on. A stiff neck had kept him out of action since May 30, when he had to leave game against Detroit after two innings. The three-time Cy Young award winner had nothing to say about his performance against tonight.
"He was throwing pretty well until Mark made the error," said catcher Rick Dempsey. "After that bloop hit by Heath, Jim couldn't get the ball over the plate. I would have rather seen a line-drive single over second base than those walks."