Greg Luzinski drove in four runs with a checked-swing, bases-loaded double in the third inning and an RBI single in a five-run fifth as the Chicago White Sox defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 9-4, tonight.
The only bright spot for the Orioles was Gary Roenicke's three-run homer in the eighth. Chicago's Britt Burns (13-4) struck out six and gave up 10 hits in his complete-game victory.
Baltimore Manager Earl Weaver, whose team has lost nine straight at Comiskey Park dating back to July 10, 1980, said the breaks went to the White Sox. He specifically complained about a call by first base umpire Larry McCoy when Ron LeFlore reached base on an infield single to start the five-run fifth.
"If he (McCoy) calls him out like he was, we're still playing," Weaver said. "Between that, the check swing and a wild pitch on a third strike in the inning, things just didn't go our way."
In the third, with two out, Luzinski checked his swing on a pitch from Scott McGregor and the ball landed on the chalk line in right. Luzinski wound up at second base. Vance Law, LeFlore and Tony Bernazard wound up at home, making it 3-0 White Sox.
"Maybe tomorrow," Weaver said, "we can take some early batting practice and work on checked swings. They do seem to be effective. If we were at a crap table tonight, we'd be broke." The Orioles outhit the White Sox, 10-9.
Luzinski made it 4-0 in the fifth with a single to center, scoring LeFlore, who reached base with his third straight hit. Steve Kemp singled in a run, sending McGregor to the showers.
With right-hander Mike Boddicker on the mound, Mike Squires pinch-hit for rookie Chris Nyman. Squires tripled down the line in right to score two more runs in the fifth and Vance Law scored Squires with a single to left. That gave Burns an 8-0 lead.
Burns, who pitched a two-hitter against the Yankees in his last start, allowed two hits in the first inning. But Al Bumbry was caught stealing, Dan Ford bounced out and Eddie Murray flied out. Burns didn't allow another hit until Murray led off the fourth with a single. Then, Cal Ripken Jr. and Roenicke hit into force plays and Ken Singleton struck out.
The Orioles got a run off Burns in the sixth, although it was unearned. Ford and Murray singled, and Ford scored when outfielder Harold Baines' throw to third skipped into the stands. Chicago countered with a run off Boddicker in the seventh inning, when Vance Law singled in Carlton Fisk.
Burns came into the game with victories in his last six decisions. The White Sox were 9-3 in his last 12 starts.
"Murray got me tickled (in the eighth)," said Burns. "I was out there doing this (wheeling his arm in a circle) and Murray started laughing. He got me laughing and I couldn't stop. Then he got that infield hit. I kind of lost my concentration."