Dwayne Murphy and Garry Hancock hit solo homers and the Oakland A's scored two runs in the seventh to take a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles tonight. The loss knocked the Orioles out of a first-place tie with Toronto in the American League East race. The Blue Jays won their game in Texas, 10-5, in 11 innings.
Tom Burgmeier (5-5) pitched four innings of scoreless relief to pick up the victory. The left-hander walked three and struck out none in helping Oakland to its third straight victory. He came on in relief of starter Rick Langford, who gave up a leadoff sixth-inning homer to Jim Dwyer that put the Orioles ahead, 3-1.
After Murphy sliced a two-out homer in the first--his third in three nights and eighth of the year--to give the A's a 1-0 lead, the Orioles scored a run in the third on Todd Cruz's ninth homer and another in the fourth when Cruz blooped a two-out RBI single to score Dwyer from third. Hancock led off the Oakland sixth with a homer.
Davey Lopes singled to lead off the A's seventh-inning rally and, one out later, Jeff Burroughs walked. Bill Almon then lined an RBI single to tie the game and chase Baltimore starter Allan Ramirez (3-1). Reliever Dan Morogiello was greeted by Bob Kearney's sharp grounder that was misplayed by shortstop Cal Ripken for an error, allowing pinch runner Dan Meyer to score the go-ahead run.
"It was a double play ball until it got to me," said Ripken. "The situation called for a double play, and we needed a double play, but I didn't have time to get in front of it. In the first or second inning, it would have been different. I would have backhanded the ball and tried for one out at second. If you backhand it, it's a harder double play.
"But the ball took a bad hop and rolled up my arm. The field isn't the greatest here, but that's not the reason I missed the ball."