BALTIMORE, JUNE 14 -- All of their games have been struggles, a bunch of small fights compressed into one big fight, and it was no different today for the Baltimore Orioles.

What was different this muggy afternoon was the bottom line, an 8-5 victory over Toronto that ended the Orioles' 10-game losing streak and the Blue Jays' 11-game winning streak. A Memorial Stadium crowd of 31,358 called Ray Knight and Jim Dwyer out for curtain calls after home runs and, when the last out settled into Knight's glove, gave the entire team a long, loud standing ovation.

"They wanted a win, but no more than we did," Knight said. "Anything right now is a positive for us. Right now, throwing a strike is a boost."

Manager Cal Ripken Sr. said: "I really don't worry too much about streaks, but I would have rather had this win about nine games ago. It seems like a long time since we won."

The Orioles had not won since June 2, and they got this one with new uniforms and a new reliever and despite a couple of old problems.

Dave Schmidt (7-1) was outstanding for a second straight start, allowing one earned run in 7 1/3 innings. However, it almost didn't matter because reliever Tom Niedenfuer again was terrible, and with George Bell representing the tying run with two outs in the ninth Ripken waved in Luis DeLeon.

DeLeon had been collecting a paycheck in the International League only 24 hours earlier. He threw two pitches to Bell, who cracked his bat and fouled the second one to Knight to end the game. The save was DeLeon's first in the major leagues since 1985 and the 32nd of his career. This also was his chance to show he belongs again in the big leagues, on a team desperate for pitching.

"They're giving me a shot, and it's up to me to make the most of it," he said. "I faced Bell once back in Class A ball, and I broke his bat that time, too. I wasn't nervous. I was ready to pitch and I'm glad I got the chance."

The day began with Ripken deciding to have the Orioles wear orange uniform tops for the first time since 1983. He then sat down and wrote up a lineup that had Alan Wiggins in it for only the fourth time in 22 games. The combination worked.

"It was just a crazy thing to do," Ripken said of the uniforms. "We've had orange jerseys since I've been here, and I think I've only worn them three times. It was just a change, and it worked. We'll have to take them home and sleep in them."

The move with Wiggins worked, too. He played second base flawlessly and was on base three times with two hits and a walk, stealing his 10th and 11th bases and scoring two runs.

But Ripken's best decision was writing Schmidt's name on the lineup card. He was the Orioles' most reliable reliever, and, other than Mike Boddicker, has become their most reliable starter, having allowed one earned run in 13 1/3 innings.

He began by striking out the Blue Jays in order in the first, and was just slightly less sharp than that the entire afternoon, throwing first-pitch strikes to 19 of 26 hitters. He was a $375,000 mid-winter pickup after being released by the Chicago White Sox, but, a month before the all-star break, he leads the Orioles in victories and ERA (2.35).

"How can you not be impressed with him?" Knight asked. "He has great location and two real good pitches. He and Boddicker give us two guys who can go out there and a shut a team down."

Schmidt sailed through the first six innings, allowing a run in the second on Jesse Barfield's 17th homer, then getting in trouble in the eighth on a leadoff walk and the first of two errors by shortstop Cal Ripken Jr.

"I had good stuff just like last time," Schmidt said. "I was getting ahead of the hitters and, when I'm able to do that, I can make my pitches."

He said he felt no extra pressure on being asked to end the fourth-longest losing streak in team history, adding: "No one is panicking. We're still the same guys who cleaned up on the West Coast. Our problem has been that the hitters have been trying too hard because the pitchers weren't keeping the other team down. The pitchers have to set the tone and make the hitters feel they're in the game. You could just feel the letdown when we were three or four runs down in the first or second inning."

The the Orioles tied it against rookie left-hander Jeff Musselman (4-2) in the second. Wiggins led off with a single, stole second and scored on Lee Lacy's single.

The Orioles have had a terrible time with left-handed pitching, especially during the 1-14 slump when they lost six straight against left-handed starters. And they didn't do much with Musselman, who was forced into the rotation because of Dave Stieb's injury Saturday.

But he tired in the fifth, and the Orioles took the lead off Mark Eichhorn in the sixth when Eddie Murray singled and Knight homered. They made it 5-1 in the seventh when Wiggins singled and Ripken hit his 16th homer.

Schmidt tired after 104 pitches. He began the eighth by walking Fred McGriff. Ripken Jr. let Kelly Gruber's grounder skip away, and Schmidt wild-pitched the runners to second and third.

Rick Leach's infield grounder made it 5-2, and Ripken Sr. brought in Niedenfuer. Bell's fly made it 5-3, and Tony Fernandez homered to right to make it 5-4.

Jim Dwyer's homer gave the Orioles an 8-4 lead in the bottom of the inning.

But Niedenfuer was right back in trouble when Ripken Jr. bobbled Barfield's grounder to open the ninth. Ernie Whitt flied to right, but McGriff and Gruber singled. Gruber's hit made it 8-5 and brought the tying run to the plate.

Ripken Sr. brought in Mark Williamson, who got Willie Upshaw on a liner to deep right. DeLeon then got Bell for the last out.

The Blue Jays (39-21) maintained their three-game lead in the American League East, and Manager Jimy Williams said: "We gave them a battle. We had the right guy up there {at the end}. We're pitching good. We're hitting good. We're playing good. We just got beat today."

Orioles Notes:

Fernandez finished the series 11 for 18 (.611) with four doubles, a triple and two homers. He average soared from .286 to .311 . . . The Orioles are 1-15 against AL East teams other than Cleveland . . . Dwyer's homer was his eighth pinch homer for the Orioles, a franchise record. It was his ninth homer this season, tying his career high . . . After 31 home dates, attendance is down 45,288 from a year ago . . . Murray singled in four at-bats, but hasn't had an RBI in 12 games . . . Lynn, hitting .183 against left-handers, didn't start.