For a while tonight, the Baltimore Orioles' three runs in the sixth inning and Fred Lynn's home run in the seventh seemed like wasted energy. But then Chicago scored five runs in the ninth off Tippy Martinez and put the tying runs on base.
And it wasn't until Sammy Stewart threw a fast ball low on the outside corner for a called third strike to Scott Fletcher that the Orioles were able to leave Memorial Stadium with a 9-7 victory over the White Sox.
The Orioles pounded three of Chicago's four pitchers for 12 hits, including home runs by Gary Roenicke and Lynn, two hits and three RBI by Rich Dauer and a two-run single by the still-hot Rick Dempsey.
Winner Mike Boddicker (3-1), who went 6 2/3 innings, left with a 9-2 lead that Tippy Martinez protected by striking out Ron Kittle with the bases loaded. After retiring the side easily in the eighth, Martinez yielded six hits in the ninth. Four went for extra bases, including Luis Salazar's two-out, three-run homer that made it 9-6.
Julio Cruz doubled down the third base line and pinch hitter Jerry Hairston singled before Baltimore Manager Joe Altobelli took out Martinez, who was so angry he wouldn't leave the field before confronting plate umprire Tim Welke.
"We all like umpires to be consistent," Stewart said after recording his fourth save of the season. "But when he makes you throw every pitch at the knees, it makes it impossible. He wasn't giving Tippy that above-the-thigh strike inside."
Catcher Dempsey said he thought Welke called a good game overall, but missed a couple of pitches "that would have changed Tippy's outing completely."
The first batter Stewart faced -- veteran Tom Paciorek -- singled to score another run. But Stewart was glad that Paciorek -- "who has always hit me well," Stewart explained -- singled on the first pitch, rather than wait for a pitch to hit for extra bases.
Stewart and Dempsey decided to challenge Fletcher with fast balls. "You've got to go right after Fletcher with Harold Baines (three hits tonight and a league-high 14-game hitting streak) on deck."
Stewart, who said he thought the game was over going into the ninth, thought to himself, "I might as well go low and hard." Fletcher didn't take the bat off his shoulder until he v threw it after striking out.
Chicago Manager Tony LaRussa said: "We really had a chance there at the end with the go-ahead run at the plate."
That's why Stewart said, "Thank goodness for Freddie's insurance home run," Stewart said.
The White Sox took a 1-0 lead in the first without a hit. Rudy Law walked, stole second, moved to third on Fletcher's sacrifice and scored on a wild pitch.
Baltimore scored five runs in the fourth, two on the home run by Roenicke, two more on a single by Dempsey and the last on a single by Rich Dauer, who had been booed loudly after striking out in the third to lower his batting average to .121. All the runs were charged to starter Floyd Bannister (0-3).
The White Sox got back one run in the fifth, once again because of Law's base running. He walked with two out, stole second, and scored on Fletcher's single.
Dauer doubled to drive in two more runs in the sixth and Cal Ripken followed with a single that made it 8-2. And Lynn's home run off Tom Seaver -- who was making the eighth relief appearance of his career -- seemed to clinch it.
But as Altobelli said, "We needed every inch of that seven-run lead, as it turned out."
Baltimore outfielder Lee Lacy, who hasn't played since tearing ligaments in his right thumb during spring training, took batting practice for the first time since the injury.