One of baseball's oddest streaks continued tonight as Moose Haas pitched on a day when the Oakland A's outclassed their opposition.
Tonight, it was the Baltimore Orioles, who had their six-game winning streak ended, 8-4, before 24,896 at Memorial Stadium.
As Oakland second baseman Tony Phillips hit for the cycle and the A's got 14 hits off three Orioles pitchers, Haas ran his record to 7-1 to put himself on something resembling a 30-victory pace.
He won tonight although he was less than sharp, allowing eight hits and four runs in six innings and getting two innings of shaky relief from rookie Bill Mooneyham and a sharp one from Jose Rijo.
Not that it mattered. In Haas' eight starts with his new team, the A's have have outscored the opposition by the incredible margin of 68-22, scoring five or more runs in all but one of the starts.
"Give him credit," Orioles left fielder Mike Young said. "His ball tails away from both left-handers and right-handers. He changes speeds and he knows how to keep a lead. He gets enough runs, doesn't he?"
Indeed. This night, the A's jumped on Orioles starter Storm Davis (3-2), who lasted five batters into the second inning, didn't get anyone out in the second and allowed four hits and four runs (two earned).
His appearance was the shortest by an Orioles starter this season, and came after they had averaged 7 1/3 innings per start during the winning streak.
"There's nothing to say about that one," Orioles Manager Earl Weaver said. "That was poor pitching and a big error in the second inning by Davis . Davis never got anything established. So we had our bad one. Let's hope we get six more good ones in a row."
The A's got five hits and four RBI from Phillips, who led off the game with a homer, got a two-run single in the second, a double in the fourth, an infield single in the fifth and an RBI triple under right fielder Jim Dwyer's glove in the eighth.
He became the first Oakland player ever to hit for the cycle, and only the fourth player to do it against the Orioles (Larry Hisle, George Brett and Bob Watson are the others.)
All the A's tend to hit for Haas, but Phillips has been phenomenal, batting .531 (17 for 32) with Haas on the mound. In all, he has gotten 17 of his 45 hits and driven in eight of his 17 runs with Haas pitching.
"Everything seemed to fall in," Phillips said. "It's nice to go five or five. I've never been in the record books."
Meanwhile, the Orioles got 11 hits, scoring twice in the fourth on designated hitter Larry Sheets' third homer and twice in the seventh, when they knocked out Haas.
Their best chance was in the eighth when, trailing, 8-4, and with two runners on, both Sheets and Young sent left fielder Ricky Peters to the wall to catch drives.
"You have to like it," Weaver said. "We battled and battled, and they had to take the fifth and sixth runs off the wall."
Davis was around for only 51 pitches and was in trouble as soon as Phillips hit his fourth pitch of the night over the left field fence for a 1-0 lead.
In the second, the Orioles' defense gave the A's plenty of help as Dusty Baker led off the inning by hitting a ball at third baseman Floyd Rayford, who did everything except step on it. Mike Davis followed with a double into the gap in left-center.
Baker stopped at third, but scored when Alfredo Griffin was safe when Storm Davis failed to touch first after taking a throw from Alan Wiggins. Davis walked catcher Jerry Willard and, when Phillips followed with a two-run single down the right field line, that was all for Davis.
Reliever Nate Snell got out of the second inning, but allowed a run in the third and two in the fourth.
In the third inning, Mike Davis hit a two-out double to right and scored when Griffin singled to right. In the fourth, Phillips got his third hit, a double to right. Snell struck out Bruce Bochte and Jose Canseco, but Dave Kingman drove in Phillips with a double to right to make it 6-0.
Carney Lansford singled to right to score Kingman. At that point, the fans had seen enough, and created a brief intermission by flinging a couple of hundred of the giveaway seat cushions onto the field.
"They were frustrated," Weaver said. "We don't blame 'em. I wish the hell I'd had something to throw on the field."
When the cushions were cleared, Baker stepped up and got the A's 10th hit in four innings.
Trailing, 7-0, the Orioles got two in the last of the fourth when Eddie Murray (three for four) singled and Sheets hit his third homer, a high shot to right. The Orioles closed to 7-4 in the seventh, an inning that began with Sheets singling to right and Young doubling to right.
Weaver then went for two pinch hitters, Dwyer and John Stefero. Dwyer was hitting for Rayford, who had gone hitless in his two at-bats, had his average drop to .169 and will be on the bench when Rick Langford pitches for the A's Saturday night.
Dwyer responded by bouncing a single to score Sheets and send Young to third. Then Weaver went for Stefero instead of Dempsey, who is in a four-for-27 slump and also will be on the bench Saturday night.
As Weaver sent up Stefero, Oakland Manager Jackie Moore brought in Mooneyham, who struck out Stefero on a high fastball.
"Moose pitched well again," Moore said. "He just ran out of gas by the time I went out there."
Wiggins' groundout to second scored Young to make it 7-4, and with Dwyer on second, Mooneyham struck out Lacy to end the inning.