Dane Iorg never expected it, not against Mike Boddicker.
"He's a great pitcher," Iorg said.
But the Baltimore Orioles right-hander was not great tonight, and his teammates were not much better. They lost, 10-3, to the Kansas City Royals in front of 29,410 in Memorial Stadium.
"Nobody expected to score 10 runs when he's pitching," said Iorg, who went two for five with five runs batted in. "Usually, you hope your pitcher has a good night and you can get a few runs. But tonight, it was obvious that he was fighting with his control and that led to his downfall."
The slide started quickly for Boddicker (9-10). Alan Wiggins botched a fairly easy ground ball by Willie Wilson, who led off the first. Wilson stole second and went to third when Cal Ripken allowed catcher Rick Dempsey's throw to go into center field. Wilson scored on Iorg's ground ball to first base.
"The first run was a gift," Orioles Manager Earl Weaver said, while shaking his head in an attempt to figure out why his pitchers continue to do so poorly.
Boddicker was in trouble again in the third when Buddy Biancalana singled and moved to third on Wilson's single to right. Wilson stole second without drawing a throw, and Iorg followed with a single to center that scored two runs for a 3-0 lead. Boddicker allowed a single to George Brett, then walked Jorge Orta to load the bases, but got out of the inning.
Meanwhile, Royals starter Charlie Leibrandt (9-5) got two double plays in the first two innings and two strong defensive plays from Brett at third.
In the fourth, the Royals sent 10 men to the plate and Boddicker to the showers. It was the 23rd time this season that an Orioles starter had not finished the fifth inning.
After Jim Sundberg and Biancalana singled, Weaver replaced Boddicker with Ken Dixon, a move that didn't help matters much.
Dempsey misplayed Wilson's bunt down the first base line to load the bases with none out. Iorg singled to left to drive in two more runs. Wilson, who had stopped at second on the play, scored on Brett's single to right.
Iorg and Brett scored on Orta's triple into the right field corner. Orta scored on a double to right center by Frank White, and White came in on Steve Balboni's single off the wall in left. Sundberg, who started the rally, grounded out to end it, with the Royals up, 9-0.
It was the first time this season that the Royals, who are tied for next to last in the American League in team batting, had scored six runs in an inning. Every Royals starter except Darryl Motley had at least one hit in the 15-hit offense.
Balboni's 15th homer of the year, in the ninth off Tippy Martinez, completed Kansas City's barrage.
"I have no idea why Boddicker didn't have it," Weaver said. "The balls weren't hit that hard. While it looked bad, he wasn't crushed. But you can't call it good. It was below average. The crush came after he left the game.
"Unless you can bring in a guy to close the door, you wonder if you should leave the guy in. But how much farther can you go with him? If you leave him in and the next ball oes over the fence, you look pretty stupid. Yet if you can't get somebody to turn it off, there's not much else you can do."
The Orioles did manage two runs in the fourth, and third base coach Cal Ripken Sr. deserved credit for those scores. Lee Lacy singled to extend his hitting streak to 19 games, and the junior Ripken singled. When Eddie Murray singled to center, the senior Ripken came way down the line to stop Lacy at third, and was booed for his action. The boos changed to cheers one out later when Mike Young singled in Lacy and Ripken Jr.
The Orioles scored again in the fifth. Wiggins ended a zero-for-19 streak with a single to center and eventually scored on Murray's double to right center.
Wiggins might have had his mind elsewhere. This afternoon in Pasadena, Calif., his wife Angie gave birth to their second child, Alan Anthony Jr. Wiggins left after the game to fly to California and will miss the final two games of the series before rejoining the team Monday in Minnesota.
Left-hander Mike Flanagan is scheduled to pitch Saturday afternoon's game against the Royals' Danny Jackson. It will be Flanagan's first major league appearance since he injured his left Achilles' tendon in January. To make room for Flanagan, pitcher Phil Huffman was sent back to Rochester. He had been called up July 10 when Nate Snell broke a rib.