The Baltimore Orioles recorded season-high marks in runs scored and hits here tonight to brighten what otherwise had been a dreary road trip.
Their 18 hits and Storm Davis' three-hitter gave them an 11-1 victory over the Texas Rangers at Arlington Stadium.
Davis, after giving up a run in the first inning, retired 19 straight until Pete O'Brien doubled with two out in the seventh. Davis (1-0) allowed three base runners in the ninth but finished.
Baltimore outfielder Mike Young, with four hits in five at-bats, raised his batting average 91 points to .205.
Both Davis and Young, who had been struggling, talked as much about Eddie Murray's return as they did their own performances.
Murray, back in the lineup after missing five games because of a death in his family -- the Orioles lost four of those games -- had two hits and a run batted in in four at-bats. His RBI single came in a six-run eighth inning.
"It was a big impact when he left," Young said. "I think that was a big part of our downfall. He's such an asset. Everyone is so glad he's back."
Davis, whose earned run average was 8.31 before tonight's game, walked over to Murray in the Baltimore clubhouse after the game and said, "Nice to have you back."
Davis told reporters afterward: "There's a presence about him, out there (on the field), and in here, that no other player on the team has. It's great to have him back."
Murray wasn't exactly the hitting star tonight. The Orioles' three home runs were hit by Rick Dempsey, Dan Ford and Young. Dempsey's, with one on in the third, put the Orioles ahead for good.
The home runs by Dempsey (his third) and Ford (his first RBI this season) came in succession off starter and loser Frank Tanana. Both were long, powerful drives pulled to left field. Both Dempsey and Ford stood at home plate to watch them fall deep in the left field seats.
Cal Ripken had two hits. Jim Dwyer, who didn't come into the game until the fifth inning when he batted for Gary Roenicke, had two hits. Wayne Gross, who hit for Fritz Connally in the sixth, had two hits, and Dempsey had two hits and three RBI.
The Orioles battered four pitchers, including Burt Hooton and Dave Stewart. The latter gave up three earned runs in only one inning.
As lopsided as the outcome was, Davis recounted a moment in the first inning he thought was pivotal.
After Texas loaded the bases with nobody out, his manager, Joe Altobelli, came out to talk to him.
Asked later what he said, Altobelli said, "I told him, 'Get out of the damn inning with no runs or one run.' "
The talk Davis had with himself may have been more important. "I stepped off the rubber and said to myself, 'I've got to throw a curve ball right here and get it over.' I wasn't going to throw Larry Parrish a fast ball in that situation. He can really turn it around."
Davis got his curve ball over, and Parrish grounded into a double play, that did score a run. Davis got O'Brien to ground out to end the inning. And Texas never got two runners on base at the same time again until the ninth inning when the game was long out of reach.
"I just didn't want to give up that second run and have Frank (Tanana) pitching with a two-run lead," Davis said. "I want to be a strong link in the chain here, and I wanted to start being that tonight."
"He pitched a fine ball game after that first inning," Altobelli said. "I just didn't want him to say, 'Here I go again.' He hadn't pitched that great and he knew it, but he'll be fine."
Davis said he threw four pitches, a fork ball, straight change-up, curve and fast ball. When asked if he'll resume using his slider, he said: "I won't say, 'never,' but I doubt it."
Mike Boddicker, the Orioles' scheduled starter in Wednesday night's series finale, said: "Why don't you stop being modest and just tell them you threw 92-93 mph."
Davis answered, "Yeah, but 92-93 up here gets you waxed."
Those waist-high pitches were the kind Young got several times tonight.
"I got some pitches I could drive," said Young, who had been benched for a couple of games. "The only thing I could do was keep swinging. I understood when he took me out of the lineup for a couple of games. (Coach) Frank Robinson talked to me about it today, and I understood."