BALTIMORE, JULY 7 -- When the White Sox and Orioles get together, bet the ranch that third base coaches will get a lot of handshakes.

The two clubs have hit 33 homers in the eight games they've played this season. Last night, the White Sox hit three to Baltimore's one on the way to a 9-3 victory before 20,844 at Memorial Stadium.

Floyd Bannister (4-7) gave up only three hits over seven innings and 80 pitches. Bob James pitched the final two innings, giving up one run and striking out two.

But once again, Orioles starting pitching was the story -- a very short story. John Habyan lasted one inning plus five batters, giving up three runs and five hits in only 34 pitches. In all, Chicago rang up 14 hits off five pitchers.

Carlton Fisk went three for five, including his ninth homer, and drove in four runs. Harold Baines went three for five, hit his 11th homer and had three RBI. To the two-run shots of Fisk and Baines, Greg Walker appended his 17th, with none on.

"I had a good first inning, but the second inning just killed me," said Habyan, who gave up a single to Walker to start things in the second.

Fisk then hit a 2-1 pitch to dead center to give Chicago a 2-0 lead.

"He didn't want to throw a pitch there. It was a slider up and over the plate. I didn't get all of it but I hit it pretty good," Fisk said.

Habyan got ahead of only one of the nine men he faced.

"The important thing," said Orioles Manager Cal Ripken Sr., "is to get the first pitch over the plate. When the young guys understand that, then things will get better. You may tell them a thousand and one times before it sinks in, but they have to understand that."

After Donnie Hill singled, Steve Lyons walked and Ken Williams singled, Ripken brought in Doug Corbett. He didn't do that badly, retiring 12 of the 14 batters he faced.

One of the two that reached, Ozzie Guillen, hit a double. The other, Baines, did you-know-what to a Corbett change-up.

"The first two pitches {in the count} weren't even close. I thought he was trying to walk me," Baines said. "Then, he put a change-up in my wheelhouse and I destroyed the ball."

Baines' homer into the right field seats made the score 5-2, and the Orioles didn't have enough people on base for Eddie Murray to drive in, although his 17th homer produced two runs.

Murray looks like he's about to have One of Those Julys. He's hit three homers in three days after only two in his previous 35 games. He was two for four tonight, and is hitting .347 in his last dozen games.

But the top of the order for the Orioles -- Alan Wiggins, Rick Burleson and Cal Ripken Jr. -- were a combined one for 10, and Jim Dwyer, hitting for Burleson in the eighth, made it one for 11.

Other than Murray's success, Bannister was in control throughout. He looks like he's coming on for the White Sox, giving up only two runs in 6 2/3 innings against Cleveland, and five hits and three runs in a nine-inning no-decision against California.

"I gave up two runs against Cleveland and one against California, and had nothing to show for it," he said.

Tonight, he "moved the speeds around pretty well, threw strikes," and kept the Orioles off-balance.

The Orioles hit grounders in the first three innings, and started getting the ball up in the air through the middle innings. But Bannister said he wasn't tiring.

"I felt like I was still mixing them up and keeping the ball in the ballpark," he said.

Orioles pitchers could not say the same. Tony Arnold gave up Walker's homer. Mike Kinnunen, just up from Rochester to replace Scott McGregor on the roster, came on in the ninth with the Orioles still barely breathing at 6-3. He faced three men, got one out, and walked two (one intentionally).

On came Tom Niedenfuer, who promptly gave up a bases-loaded, two-run double to Fisk that just missed being a grand slam. Niedenfuer's last two pitches have been hit almost 700 feet.

Murray's homer (a fastball over the plate, Bannister said) with Ripken on in the fourth was the first hit off Bannister, who retired the first 11 Orioles.

He settled right back into a groove after the homer, giving up two hits over the next three innings. And even when he gave up a leadoff single to Murray in the seventh, it was wiped out when Ray Knight, in a terrible slump (.141 in his last 16 games), hit into a double play.

Meanwhile, Arnold was keeping himself busy, registering five assists in 3 1/3 innings. In the sixth, he started a 1-6-3 double play and then assisted on a putout of Lyons.

In the seventh, he fielded a sacrifice bunt by Guillen, then leaped in the air to stop a grounder by Gary Redus. He fired to catcher Terry Kennedy, who caught Williams 15 feet from the plate.

In the eighth, Arnold started the inning with an assist to get Ivan Calderon. But, of course, Walker then hit a homer to center, in keeping with the tradition of the time.

All Manager Ripken wants is four opposition runs or fewer per game, he said. "Habyan was behind the hitters the whole time. Mike Griffin threw a good game {Monday} night because he got ahead and was able to mix his pitches. You can't keep getting behind like tonight and be successful."

But until the rest of the Orioles staff -- Ken Dixon, Mike Flanagan and Scott McGregor -- get back from their tour in Rochester, the kids are all Ripken's got.

Orioles Notes:

Center fielder Fred Lynn missed tonight's game with a sore quadriceps he sustained in Monday's victory . . . McGregor will spend only 15 days in Rochester instead of the 20 first announced after Monday's game . . .Murray's homer gave him the most ever hit at Memorial Stadium, 139, where the Orioles now have homered in 19 straight games. He passed Brooks Robinson . . . Dixon won his third game without a loss for Rochester. In the 6-4 victory over Columbus, he gave up two homers.