Cal Ripken hit a two-run homer with one out in the eighth inning tonight to help the Baltimore Orioles end a seven-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
Sammy Stewart, who relieved Bill Swaggerty in the seventh, raised his record to 5-3 but needed eighth-inning help from Tippy Martinez.
The Orioles moved into second place in the American League East, a game behind Detroit. The White Sox are six games ahead of second-place Texas in the AL West.
Ripken's homer, his 17th of the season, was his first since July 23 and helped drop Jerry Koosman to 8-5. Koosman, bidding for his 200th career victory, gave up a single to Dan Ford before Ripken got his 10th game-winning hit of the season.
"I tried something new tonight. I opened up my stance so I could see the ball better and have a quicker bat," said Ripken. "I wondered myself when the next homer would come. But you can't go around worrying about hitting home runs or you could really get into trouble."
Ripken wasn't sure if the victory will snap the Orioles out of their slump. "It's hard to tell if one game will get us rolling again but the next seven games have to be better than the last seven," he said.
Swaggerty, making his major-league debut after being purchased Thursday from Rochester of the International League, walked leadoff batter Vance Law in the second. Marc Hill singled Law to third and the runners held as Julio Cruz lined out to second. Rudy Law grounded into a force-out, allowing Vance Law to score. In the fourth, Ford and Ripken doubled to tie the score, 1-1.
The White Sox took a 2-1 lead in their half of the fourth. Julio Cruz beat out a bunt and scored on Scott Fletcher's triple.
With one out in the Baltimore seventh, Gary Roenicke drove his 14th homer of the year into the left field stands to tie the score.
The Orioles picked up the final run in the ninth off Dennis Lamp. With two out, Lenn Sakata beat out an infield hit, giving him just two hits in 74 lifetime at bats against the White Sox. Sakata, who got his first hit on Thursday, stole second and scored on Rick Dempsey's single.