Rookie Larry Sheets of the Baltimore Orioles said it was no use blaming Dennis (Oil Can) Boyd and the other two Boston pitchers for giving up 16 runs to the Orioles today. "It was one of those days, where if they throw it good, it's going to get hit. If they throw it bad it's going to get hit, too. It was just going to be our day."
It was the first such day the Orioles have had in a while. Floyd Rayford drove in four runs with a home run, double and two singles and led Baltimore's season-high 19-hit offense in the Orioles' much-needed 16-4 victory before 32,976 in Fenway Park.
The Orioles' eight-run sixth inning -- their biggest inning of the season -- helped them break a four-game losing streak.
"It was just what we needed," Mike Young said. "It was like everything was backed up in us. To go out and destroy the opposing team like we did, that, a lot of times, helps beyond today."
Destroy was indeed the operative. Besides Rayford's hits, John Shelby -- who started his second straight game, this time in center field -- had three hits and a walk. Lee Lacy had three hits and a sacrifice fly. Cal Ripken had two hits. Eddie Murray had two hits, including his 11th home run, and a walk. And Rich Dauer had two hits and a walk.
The Orioles knocked Boyd on his can with seven runs in the first four innings. Lacy's run-scoring double in the first made it 1-0, and Murray's homer, hit more than 400 feet into the right field stands, made it 3-0.
The Red Sox did score two quick runs off Dennis Martinez (6-5) in the first when Jim Rice homered. But Martinez settled in with a variety of fast balls and a couple of nifty fork balls, and allowed only one more run before Nate Snell pitched the last three innings to earn his third save.
Martinez did get a fabulous running catch from Lacy in the fifth, robbing Bill Buckner of at least a double and saving a couple of runs. "It was a big play at the time," Baltimore Manager Earl Weaver said.
But the Orioles already had scored two more runs in the second -- on RBI hits by Dauer and Shelby -- two more in the fourth, including Rayford's leadoff homer, and another in the fifth to make it 8-3.
By that time, Boyd was gone. In 53 previous innings against the Orioles, he had an earned run average of 2.89, including a three-hit shutout two weeks ago in Baltimore. In that game, Rayford had two of the three hits.
And today's home run, which cleared the wall in left barely inside the foul pole, left Rayford four for four against Boyd.
"You know me; I don't take Oil Can seriously," Rayford said, referring to Boyd's emotional antics on the mound. "I don't know if we especially wanted to get Oil Can. He talks about how well he does against us. Hell, he's telling the truth; his stats don't lie. But today just wasn't his day."
It was Rayford's. He came into the game with a .556 (five for nine) batting average against Boyd, which is the primary reason Weaver started him. After the home run, Rayford faced Mark Clear, whose first pitch after coming in from the bullpen was just under Rayford's chin.
"It was just a back-door breaking ball that was tight," Rayford said. "Mark and I used to live together (when the two were in the California Angels' farm system). If he wanted to brush me back, he could have done it with a lot harder pitch."
Rayford dusted himself off and doubled down the left field line, to drive in two of the eight runs in the sixth.
The inning started off innocently enough with Shelby flying out to right against Jim Dorsey, who had taken over from Boyd. But the Orioles got six hits -- five to center field -- from the next seven batters, and Ripken's two-run single finished the rally.
"It's the first time we've collectively hit together," Sheets said. "A couple of hits just kind of fell in there, but that's what the Yankees did to us this week. We didn't strike out that much today (four times), and for the number of times we went up, that's not bad."
Shelby, who is proving to be as versatile as Weaver thought he would be, said, "Sometimes when a team is playing bad, a rainout turns it around. Sometimes it's a big offensive day. This doesn't happen too often, but we're glad it did today."
Weaver, after the Orioles had beaten somebody other than Milwaukee for the first time since June 5, was as optimistic as ever that the Orioles could put together several victories. "It's no big deal, gentlemen; we expect to do it again. Not score 16 runs necessarily, but win some games.
"If we can win (Sunday), what looked like a very bad road trip will be a not-so-bad road trip."