Cal Ripken, who had hit only one home run in his previous 28 game s, hit two tonight and drove in six runs as the Orioles routed the Oakland A's, 12-4.

Baltimore scored seven runs on seven straight hits in the second inning to provide another suspenseless game for a crowd of 19,827 that dutifully remained to the end to watch fireworks.

It is not often that a starting pitcher is yanked before he throws enough pitches to match his age. That was the fate of Oakland's 42-year-old Tommy John, whose 36 pitches to 10 batters resulted in six hits and a walk.

Winner Scott McGregor improved his record to 11-12, although yielding three home runs before he was replaced by Ken Dixon in the sixth. Dwayne Murphy hit two, Steve Henderson the other.

As the 10-game home stand reached the halfway mark, the Orioles had won three games by a total of 21 runs and lost the other two by a total of 14.

Ripken drove in Alan Wiggins, who had doubled, with a first-inning grounder. His three-run homer off reliever Steve McCatty came in the seven-run second and he lined a two-run shot, his 20th, off Jeff Kaiser in the eighth.

"It happens that way," Ripken said of his homer drought. "You can go back over the past few years and I'm sure you'll find periods longer than that with only one dinger.

"It goes in streaks. Although I've never considered myself a streaky hitter, I've never considered myself a big home run hitter, either.

"It's a matter of timing and contact. Tonight my timing came back. Once you hit one, the feeling's there. You don't hit homers by thinking about it, although the media keeps reminding you and it's sometimes brought up by the manager that you haven't hit one for a while."

It was 1-1 when Gary Roenicke and Floyd Rayford singled with one out in the second. John Shelby brought them in with a triple high off the right field wall. Shelby scored on Rich Dauer's single and, after Wiggins beat out a bunt, McCatty replaced John.

Lacy's RBI single made it 5-1 and Ripken, after lining a slider inches to the left of the foul pole in left field, drove a fast ball several feet to the right side of the pole.

McGregor was struggling and the A's were able to close to 8-4 in the fourth on a homer by Henderson and a two-run shot by Murphy, his second in as many at bats.

In 18 previous innings against Oakland, McGregor had yielded one run, on another homer by Murphy. The three he yielded tonight gave him 28 for the season; only Danny Darwin of Minnesota (29) has given up more.

Dixon pitched the last 3 1/3 innings and struck six. He allowed one hit and one walk.

Oakland reliever Keith Atherton, who came on in the fifth, retired all 10 men he faced, but Manager Jackie Moore chose to replace him with left-hander Kaiser in the eighth.

Kaiser was touched for three unearned runs, one scoring on Lacy's sacrifice fly and two more when Ripken drove a curve ball into the left field seats.

The six RBI were a career high for Ripken, who has 93 for the season. He said he made no adjustment to his swing and the batting coach, Frank Robinson, was taking no credit, after hitting only one out of 20 over the fence in losing a pregame home run contest to former teammate Boog Powell.