There was little rejoicing in the Baltimore Orioles' clubhouse tonight. Just relief.
Gary Roenicke and Eddie Murray homered and Storm Davis and Tippy Martinez combined on an eight-hitter as the Orioles defeated the Kansas City Royals, 7-4, ending two dismal losing streaks.
The Orioles stopped their losing streak at seven, the longest of the season in the American League. By winning their first game in Kansas City since April 17, 1981, the Orioles ended an eight-game losing streak in Royals Stadium, a park in which Baltimore has won only 19 of 57 games.
"I feel good we won . . . forget about last week," Orioles Manager Joe Altobelli said. "I'll relish it, go to my room, watch the news and think about my lineup for tomorrow's game, just like I always do."
Although the Royals will be starting right-hander Dennis Leonard Saturday night against Baltimore, Altobelli might think about finding a place in the lineup for Roenicke.
The Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the first when John Shelby hit Larry Gura's first pitch for a triple and scored on Dan Ford's sacrifice fly. Roenicke opened the second with a home run for a 2-0 lead.
The home run, Roenicke's fourth of the season, was the 11th of his career against Kansas City. He has hit only 55 against all of the other American League teams.
The Orioles built a 4-0 lead as they knocked out Gura in the third. It was the second straight time Gura, who has lost six straight, has failed to make it past the third inning.
Again Shelby led off by hitting the first pitch, this time for a single. Two outs later, Murray, who had not hit a homer in 31 games (since April 21), hit a 2-0 pitch over the left center field wall, 420 feet away.
The Royals cut the lead to 4-3 in the fourth as Pat Sheridan beat out an infield hit, George Brett and Hal McRae singled and John Wathan blooped a two-run double down the right field line between first baseman Murray, second baseman Rich Dauer and right fielder Ford.
The Orioles got back a run in the fifth. After two were out, Cal Ripken walked and Murray doubled to the right field wall.
In the Baltimore sixth, Benny Ayala doubled and scored on Rick Dempsey's single off reliever Bill Castro.
Davis (3-1) gave way to Martinez in the seventh, and Martinez, despite allowing a home run to Amos Otis in the eighth, earned his fifth save. In 26.1 innings, Martinez has allowed five home runs, one fewer than he allowed last season.