Don Baylor drove in four runs, including three on an eighth-inning home run, to lead the New York Yankees to a 5-4 exhibition victory over the Baltimore Orioles last night in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

With two outs in the eighth and Baltimore leading, 4-2, Vic Mata reached base on shortstop Kelly Paris' throwing error and Rex Hudler was hit by a pitch from Sammy Stewart, setting up Baylor's game-winning homer.

Baltimore scored two runs off starter Ron Guidry, one in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Eddie Murray and one in the second on a run-scoring double by Rich Dauer. The Orioles made it 3-0 in the sixth on an RBI single by Wayne Gross.

Storm Davis held the Yankees hitless for 5 1/3 innings before Omar Moreno singled and later scored on Willie Randolph's double. Baylor added a sacrifice fly to make it 3-2 after an infield single by Mata advanced Randolph to third.

John Lowenstein's pinch-hit single gave the Orioles a 4-2 margin in the seventh.

New York, managed by coach Jeff Torborg because Manager Yogi Berra was ill with a stomach virus, improved its spring record to 5-8. Baltimore dropped to 7-6.

The Yankees announced that center fielder Rickey Henderson, who sprained his left ankle last Sunday, is expected to be ready to play late next week.

Indians: Slugger Andre Thornton, signed by Cleveland to a guaranteed four-year, $4.34 million contract in December, will need surgery to repair damaged cartilage in his left knee.

Thornton missed the 1980 season because of a similar injury to his right knee. He said he has been slightly troubled by the left leg all spring. After the knee locked up on him while he was running to first base in an exhibition game Thursday, he decided to have doctors examine it yesterday.

If surgery can be performed with an arthroscope, Thornton said he could be back in action in four weeks. The extent of the damage won't be known until he is examined by Dr. John Bergfeld in Cleveland early next week.

Thornton hit 33 home runs and drove in 99 runs for Cleveland last season.

Reds: In Bradenton, Fla., Dave Parker hit a three-run homer and Nick Esasky a two-run shot as Cincinnati defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-2.