The Baltimore Orioles are dying to get well. They might have known they wouldn't find any sympathy here tonight.
Not on Hospital Night. Not in Kansas City most nights.
For the 10th time in their last 11 games at Royals Stadium, and the eighth game in a row here, the Orioles lost to the Royals, 8-2.
The Orioles' more immediate skid, from a robust first place to a squirming fourth in the East Division, stretched to seven consecutive losses, the longest in the league this season.
Run-scoring singles by Cal Ripken Jr. and John Lowenstein created some heat in the first inning against the Royals' Steve Renko, and catcher Rick Dempsey's temper created some more in the fourth.
By the time Dempsey blew up at batter Willie Wilson after the Royals' third stolen base of the night--causing both benches to empty for the common nonfight--the Royals had gotten to Mike Boddicker for a 6-2 lead.
Dempsey claimed no-fair when Wilson faked a bunt and left his bat hanging in the way of Dempsey's throw as Washington sped to second.
"He told me he'd kick my butt if I got my bat in his way again," Wilson said. "I told him he'd better jump me now. How can he get mad at me for doing my job, protecting my runner? He's just frustrated because he's hitting .200 (actually .211), they're losing and the only guy he can throw out is Hal McRae."
The Royals had stolen 19 consecutive bases until Dempsey threw out McRae in the fifth. "I have nothing to say," Dempsey commented. Orioles Manager Joe Altobelli said he asked the umpires for interference on the play, which had no bearing on the game.
Boddicker's pitching did. "I got offspeed crazy and lost my control," he said. "When I had to have my fast ball my arm wasn't there."
For the Royals, U.L. Washington, hitting .191 at game time, doubled to left-center off Boddicker in the second inning to send two runners home for a tie. Washington was thrown out trying to make the hit into a triple.
Washington finished the night three for three (two doubles) and a walk, two RBI, a run scored and the stolen base that occasioned the Dempsey-Wilson exchange. Four times Washington went into a base belly-first: on the attempted triple, on an infield single and finally in beating out his second double. "I might never get my uniform clean," he said.
Amos Otis batted in the go-ahead run in the four-run third inning.